I had just come from Amsterdam (see blog) and was ready for the famous 'Running of the Bulls' in Pamplona, Spain. They call it the festival of San Fermin which was another amazing event that is hard to explain with words, pictures, or even video. Starting July 6th and continuing for 8 days, it's a non-stop party from 7am where we congregated in the streets waiting for the canon shot to signal the release of the bulls into the street for an 850 meter dash into the coliseum where the real action begins. The actual running of the bulls only last 15 minutes and is not much of a challenge. I stayed in front most of the time and got bored so I waited for the bulls to catch up and then ran along side of them for a bit. The bulls run straight to the arena with the exception of a few stray runners that they catch in the corners and can do some serious damage.
We entered the arena in a large group and the bulls were funneled out. I started to take pictures when a guy tapped me on the shoulder and pointed behind me to the set of fresh bulls that they were letting back into the arena. I guess I missed that part in the book and thought it was over. There were about 250 of us in the center and at least 5,000 spectators in the stands above. The bull starts charging all of us and grabbing victims one by one. Throwing them up into the air and then charging them a few more times once they hit the ground. Please see the first video below – in 50 seconds the bull gets at least 3 people before heading for me. With camera in hand and still running I jump the wall to safety. Crazy stuff! It was one of the most amazing things I've ever done and will probably be in my top 10 for life.
Next up Barcelona (see blog).