Carnival is surreal at the best of times but the gala for the election of the Santa Cruz Carnival Queen in Tenerife ramped up the whole ‘have I just dropped a tab of acid’ feel to new levels.

I could handle the quasi Apocalypse Now start to the show with soldiers hanging from ropes, flamethrowers and army jeeps – the theme was the 60s, Flower Power -followed by a version of Yellow Submarine that was so bad it was great.

But Aquarius, Stand by Me and Little Arrows all sung in Spanish was just totally freaky. After three and a half hours of singers, dancers and a parade of previous Carnival Queens (interestingly one of the first queens looked better than some of the queens from 20 years later down the line), Carmen Gil González (above) beat 11 other exotically fantastical contestants to be crowned Santa Cruz Carnival Queen 2012.

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