I have been without wifi for a week, but now I have time to make a second post about the San Fermin festival.
Should I run?
The main highlight of San Fermin is actually running 800 meters with 6 ginormous bulls. Before doing any research, I assumed I would just join the crowd and run with the bulls since that is name of the festival! My thoughts quickly changed after I read stats on the number of injured people each year. There is even a section of the run called “Dead Man’s Corner”…..yea, no thank you, I will not run. Instead, I opted to watch the bull run in the arena. After a crazy opening day, I took a 5 am bus the next morning from the campsite back into Pamplona. Once I got into the city, I realized all the hardcore people partied all night. Looking around the streets I have never witnessed a bigger mess in my life. It was clear that a huge party went on with broken glass, all sorts of trash, and masses of people in purple-stained white clothes and red scarves passed out on sidewalks. The air had an aroma of beer, piss, and sangria – so pleasant. A part of me wish I stayed the whole night in the city to witness the craziness.
By the time we got to the arena it was around 6 am, and we waited until 8 am to watch the run! I was squeamish just watching the bull run, I couldn’t imagine participating. This one poor fellow, got trampled twice. When I talked to individuals who ran, they were positive that the guy died since he had no life in his eyes and filled the streets with blood. Luckily, after the official stats came in, we learned that the guy was still alive. The second part to running with the bulls is running around the arena with a bull or two. Watching people in the arena was quite entertaining, as people got lifted up in the air and slammed to the ground by the bulls. In a way I was rooting for the bulls, since they must’ve been so frightened with all these people taunting them. After an hour of watching, it was time to go back to the camp site and take a siesta. What a fun 24 hours!
Below is a summary of some of the highlights:
1) Craziest Thing I Saw – A guy held a plastic cup with a slit on the side. He poked out the tip of his penis on the top of his pants and started peeing in the cup, which made it look like he was holding beer. As pee entered the cup it would leak out of the slit and into the street. Mind you – this was broad daylight in the middle of the day, surrounded by everyone (including toddlers) in the city center when there was a bathroom with no line right next to him! (Bathroom pictured below)
2) Grossest Mistake – Sticking my hand in dog poop (beats not showering for 4 days)
3) Best decision – Took a day trip to San Sebastian to get away from the craziness. San Sebastian is only an hour away, and I highly suggest visiting for a day during San Fermin to relax on the beach and enjoy some pintxos.
4) Funniest moment – On our campsite there was an Australina guy who was consistely drunk. He would individually drink 2 to 3 bottles of vodka per day. When the campsite was getting mopped, he insisted that they mopped him so he could get clean.