Monday, July 12, 2004


hello to everyone. i just returned from the running of the bulls, please read about it.

we had planned on sleeping in the park from the beginning. there is no way we would find a room in the city during the biggest party in the country. but it was so much colder than we thought it would be outside. so we really didn´t sleep at all the first night. we took the train there and arrived at noon. the next group was coming in at 5 so we sat around a cafe and hung out until they got there.

when they came we went down to the city. we spent some time at the cafe iruna, made famous because ernest hemmingway spent most of his time in pamplona there when he was writing his novel "the sun also rises." thanks jeremy. so we went to get tickets for the bullfights the next day and stood in line next to a big group of drunks from spain and france for 3 hours. it was quite an experience. i caught a pickpocket red handed and shooed her away. we got our tickets and night was about to set in.

our spot for the night was in the plaza. we hung out on a bench in the town´s main square. i watched drunk people amble by for 4 or 5 hours. there was absolutely no stop to the amount of people in this city. they stay up all night getting drunk, and then run with the bulls at 8 in the morning, then go to bed.

later then we sat in the pizza hut that was open still until about 5 am. there were about 10 other americans in there that were pretty cool. so we talked to them until they kicked us out. the next day was the encierro. we had tickets to watch it from the bull ring instead of along side the path, so nate and i got up the stairs fast to get a spot on the balcony overlooking the outside entrance to the ring where everyone would run.

it was so cool. there were thousands of people that were kind of walking when the gun went off. then the pace picked up a little more. it only takes about two and a half minutes total. pretty soon there were people just kinda jogging and laughing and looking around (still drunk), but when they turned around they saw everyone behind them sprinting like crazy and started running too, it was an interesting chain reaction of fear passing through the people. when the crown started to thin out, the bulls came. the bulls came, about 12 of them. i snapped pictures as they went under me. then we went into the ring where all the runners just run around in the ring with the bulls. they let one out at a time. this is where the action is. because the people are still stupid and drunk. they put rubber tips on the horns so you can´t get gored at this point, but plenty of people got run over and roughed up. a brave few actually grabbed the horns either from the front or behind the head and got cheers from the crowd. it was so fun to watch stupid drunk people get tossed like rags and then stagger over to the wall.

that night was the bull fights, so we slept most of the day in the park because it was finally sunny. the bullfights were very cool. a great experience. i have plenty of photos. the only noteworthy thing is that one of the bulls broke his leg when he was running, he must have come down awkward, but anyway, they just killed him. i wonder if that happens often. that was the only thing that really got to me during the fight. it was pretty awful to watch that part.

we got into toledo about an hour and a half ago 1:30pm and i just finished lunch. i´m about to head home and take a nap since i haven´t slept 10 hours in 3 days. take care. adios!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i have to go watch the running of the bulls someday.