The Llamadas (literally means 'calls') parade took place over 2 days in Montevideo on the 3rd and 4th of February. The llamadas is a competitive event specifically for the comparsas or drum groups including dancers and other key carnival figures. It was a great atmosphere on the two nights but particularly the second night was a standout with some of the best comparsas on show. I loved all the colour and texture of the costumes, the comparsa banners and amazing flags that bearers would wave over the crowd. They say it brings you luck to touch the flag as its waved past just over your head. The winning comparsa on the night was Elumbe, and far from signifying the end of the competition, the Uruguay carnival continues on with various comparsas performing in local clubs and at theatres. Just now as a I am writing I can hear the local comparsa rehearsing a few blocks away.
Along with the smell of wood fire as parillas (bbq's) are fired up I'll miss the call of the drums when I return home to Sydney.