13 September 2010

RUN! - San Sebastián de los Reyes [Day Six]

Wearing my beer induced invincibility jacket, I agreed to meet at 6:30am the following morning to go and watch the bull run. FAIL! I don't know weather my alarm went of and I slept through it, or sometime in the night I turned it off, but I woke up at 7:30am with a pounding headache. Not wanting to miss the action I dragged myself out of bed. (Quick observation - the park that last night was trashed was now absolutely spotless. Impressive!) The crowd was not as heavy as predicted, and I managed to get a decent spot to watch the run at 8am.

I randomly saw Steve, Curt and Jared from the group out in their whites and red panuelo, looking shit scared! As the clock struck 8 there was a huge BANG! Even I jumped and I wasn't even running. Now the tactic is to wait until you can see the bulls before you start running. That way you can see where they are heading, and get the hell out of their way. Not everyone can hold their nerve long enough and they just take off as fast as possible. It was a good 30 seconds before I saw any movement. First there was a huge mass of people running as fast as they possibly can. Centimetres behind them, six MASSIVE 500kg+ bulls, as well as six steers were chasing them down. It was all over in a flash, with no major incidents.

I met up with the three guys after the run, all grinning ear to ear. Their girlfriends all breathing a sigh of relief. We all went out for a celebratory breakfast, where we met this Spanish/Scottish guy drunk off his tits trying to get us all to have a beer with him. I had an awesome Spanish omelette for breakfast, but could only stomach half. That was lunch sorted then.

We headed back to the hotel, where I decided a siesta was the best course of action. Infact, I spent most of the day lazing about. I felt a little guilty for not being out and about, but he ridiculous heat, and the fact that there actually wasn't a whole lot to do around the place helped clear my conscious.

I haven't really explained the surroundings too well up until now. There is a massive Bull Ring in the centre of town, with a large street leading off - where the bulls run. Off to the side on another main road there are long rows of marquees filling both sides of the street. Both only come alive at night. One side are local clubs, all with a slightly different vibe. Some have blaring dance music and strobe lights, others have tables, chairs and serve food, the rest are somewhere in-between. The opposite side of the road are smaller marquees filled with souvenirs and all sorts of other bits and pieces. At the end of this road is a carnival/fair - with huge rides, food, drinks, games etc. This also only comes alive in the evening. Just past the carnival is a huge park with nice green grass and plenty of trees. Then beyond that is the hotel.

Later in the afternoon the crew (Curt, Belle, Steve, Erin, Jared and Kerry) and I decided that drinks in the park was the best course of action. We picked a good spot and set up camp for the rest of the night. The beer and sangria were flowing, all mixed with dodgy carni food. The later it got, the more people came down into the park to party. By midnight it was absolutely packed, and the locals were doing their best to keep the cleaning company in business.

At about 1am I decided to have a quick look around the carnival, take some photos, then head to bed. I wanted to be well rested - as the next day I was planning to RUN! Ahh!

Next Post - 'Hey, Toro!'

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