Greetings all and thanks for dropping by! My name is Tiffany and I’m a 28 year Londoner. Not your typical pelota writer you might think. I’ve been aware of the existence of the wonderful Basque game of pelota mano for many years but it was only a year or so ago that my passion for it took off. I’ve always followed a huge variety of sports (football and boxing being the glaring exceptions) and strangely, it was my other major sporting obsession, cycling, which led me to pelota. For several years as I’ve sat watching the Tour de France and other such races, I’ve been amazed by the passion of the Basque fans, creating a huge sea of orange atop the Pyrenees. At some point I suppose I asked myself who these people were and what made them so patriotic. That curiousity led me on a fascinating journey through history, geography, anthropology, literature, language, art, cuisine and culture. Owing to my natural sporting leanings, it was only a matter of time before Basque sport met with my radar. There is a vast array of traditional games in this rugged and beautiful land, from log cutting to stone lifting but it was pelota which captured my imagination, and despite the speed and excitement of cesta punta, or jai alai, the variant which holds the distinction of being the worlds fastest ball game, it was pelota mano which fascinated me. In towns and villages the Basque Country over, rock hard balls are smacked towards the walls of courts, churches and houses and on the professional frontons men with hands as hard as stone do the same for the glory and adulation of the masses. For me, there is no sight which sums up the Basque country better than the pelotari in full flight, and no sound more evocative than the thwack of the pelota against the stone.
To the best of my knowledge, there are no other English language pelota websites in existence. I feel like something of a pioneer. Many of my articles are reports of matches broadcast on ETB-Sat, the web channel of the Basque broadcaster. I collect other material from the Basque press, and the websites and press releases of the empresas (ASPE and Asegarce), though due to an embarrassingly basic knowledge of Spanish I rely more than I would like on translation tools. I am currently attempting to learn Basque, though it will be quite some time before I am at all conversant!
I hope you enjoy what I produce. It is my sincere wish to spread the message of pelota far and wide and if I can create a handful more fans I will have done my job.
All the best,
You know taht christian bergmann has left the manista blog for beginers this week
Please tell me if is there another way to be continue talking whith teh beginners now
Hi Jose, I’ve emailed you!@JOSE CONDE
Last weekend i visited my first Pelota game ever (OLAIZOLA II – MENDIZABAL II vs GONZALEZ – LASKURAIN in Pamplona with friends. I was also amazed about the game (and the fans) It was quite an experience. I wuill visit this blog in the future for sure! It looks great.
Cheers from Holland
Hi Bram and thank you! What a fabulous match to go to…I’m very jealous! I’m a fan of Olaizola II and he played so wonderfully that I would love to have been there. Please do visit my blog again!
All the best,
Hi Tiffany I am doing some research for a food prog series I have read there is a pelotta festival on in May. Is there and if so where in the Basque Country and when? Loved your passionatae description of the game. Regards Siusaidh Hall
Contact number is 077 667 3032
@siusaidh hall Hi, and thanks very much for your comment! It can be a bit tricky to work out where pelota matches are happening all that far in advance of the date. Fixtures are not published that early. The best place to get the dates all in one place is here: http://www.pelotalive.com/en/index.php The ones in blue are mano matches; the rest are the other forms of pelota. As far as that site tells us, the only matches published so far for May are on 1st and 2nd, in Pamplona and Eibar, and a little further afield in Salamanca. You could also try looking at the websites of Aspe and Asegarce (they run matches), here http://www.aspepelota.com/festivales/cartelera.php and here http://www.asegarce.com/taquilla.php They go a little further into the future. There is a programme of matches on somewhere every weekend in the region and on some mid week days too, so best bet is to keep an eye on these sites!
All the best, Tiffany
Hi Tiffany , just wanted to share theese photos and video ( at the end ). I was just a casual photographer there. Thank you for your blog. Really impresses me. Best Regards.
@inazio Thank you Inazio, excellent! And thanks for reading my blog 🙂
Hi Tiffany, great job on your blog. It’s funny that a Londoner would start such a Pelota blog. Regardless, I enjoy reading reading your blog and getting all the updates. Keep up the good work…
That’s a great job you are doing here! and if you are more interested in the Basque culture, visit this website http://www.zintzilik.org/index.html , it’s the London Basque Society website, organizing lots of events linked to the Basque culture. Often gigs, traditional meals, danse are organized and artists from the Basque Country are coming. Also Basque lessons are given.
Good luck to Xala for the final !
Hi Tiffany. I’m going to San Sebastian October 16th for a week with a friend. I really want to take her to see a pelota match – especially one where they sing the score in Euscaria (I saw this years ago in the French Pyrenees). Do you know how I can find out about fixures, tickets, etc.? Many thanks. Annie
Hi Tiffany, great to see you spreading the word for Basque sport. A quick question – how did you get involved with EITB in the first place, I live in Navarra and would like to suggest something to the local broadcasters this side of the mountains 😉 e-mail me if you like. Thanks a bunch and keep up the good work.
Congrats for promoting this wonderful sport among English-speakers people.
I want you to know that this sport is not only practiced in Pais Vasco, it is also practiced in Navarra and La Rioja, and nowadays the best players are from this two Comunidades Autonomas (for me: Titin III, Martinez de Irujo, Barriola and Merino II).
Never forget this is a Spanish tradition, practiced mostly in northen SPAIN.
All the best.
Yes , Tyfany i Knew you , on the Sweedish blog of Cristian bergmann.
I know you are the best photograprer of the ands an protections of the vasque pelotaris
Send ma soem of this peactures , if you have a free tiem for me.
Thanks , you beatifoul pelota fan.
I am a judge on pelota too , regards
JOSE CONDE ZARZUELO
Hi Tiffany! Nice job you’re doing. I’m Felix, the guy who’s been talking to you in English after Jorge has introduced us in Bilbao. I also write in Manista behind the nickname Amillategi. You can check it out here: http://www.manista.com/errioxar-eztanda/
You can e-mail me if you want and I will add you to my facebook friends list.
Hope you enjoyed the final.