Miss Tarapoto 2014

The Miss Tarapoto 2014 candidates. And a motorbike.

So I was happily downing a bottle of wine last Saturday night while watching Side Effects on HBO. A peaceful night, I thought, as I puffed on my e-cigarette in between handfuls of chifles left over from the Stonewasi celebrations.

Then the phone rang. I had forgotten all about the Miss Tarapoto beauty contest. Damn, what a conundrum. Spruce myself up immediately, dust off the chifle crumbs and head out? Or stay at home, enjoy the peace, and finish my wine?

Images of bikinis flashed through my mind. Loud music. Crowds. Stupid questions about saving the environment. Damn it, what was I thinking?

I jumped in a mototaxi and sped through the warm night air to the awaiting warm embrace of Miss Tarapoto 2014.

And I forgot my camera. What a fool.

Thankfully, my two Australian friends had a camera with them, saving what otherwise would have been an extremely lax piece of reportage on my part.

Anyway, it was a classic night of beauty pageantry. There were very pretty females strutting around in bikinis and gowns, live-act interludes, and what now seems like the obligatory playing of songs featuring the word “fuck” (see Miss San Martin 2010).

The event, held at the Concha Acústica, also served as further evidence that getting the local Peruvians to applaud is like getting blood from a stone.

The one person to receive a reasonable amount of clapping was the eventual winner, the statuesque Maricielo Gamarra (otherwise known as Number 6). I preferred Number 8, but height goes a long way in these beauty pageants.

And having since looked at her photos over at the official Miss Tarapoto 2014 Facebook page, I think the judges made a pretty good choice.

Maricielo Gamarra, Miss Tarapoto 2014

The beautiful Maricielo Gamarra is crowned Miss Tarapoto 2014 amidst a storm of shredded paper and a couple of people clapping.