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Michael’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 08 Jul 2007

Location: Pamplona, Spain

MapOkay, so this morning we actually managed to drag are butts out of bed. It was a pretty savage sleep, as I seemed to be waking up every 15 minutes to check the alarm clock was set - not a very good preparation for the run. But the second the alarm went off at 6 we were up and at em.

Inside 25 minutes we were mobilised, knocking back cans of Red Bulls, and out the door to the Old Town. Once we were there, Richie, Nath and I peeled off into the run and Milo and Karla headed to the Bull Ring to watch the fun from in there.

Thankfully, the showers that we had last night didn't stay over into today and the track was reasonably dry. The hour long wait was just as bad as last year, but this time I had a better idea of what to expect. Just before 8 am, the crush came, and then left. This time there was no line of coppers to split the main square in half, just an opening of the run and people moving forward.

Rather than get swept up in the early moving, I made sure Richie and Nath stayed back and walked slowly down the track. The first bottle rocket fired when we were half way between Plaza de Castillio (Town Hall square) and Dead Man's corner... That was a signal to get moving a touch quicker, and dive to the right hand side for the upcoming dead man's corner.

No worries, around what is considered the most dangerous part of the track and the second bottle rocket fired. That seems to be the universal signal for idiots to run like idiots and throw themselves into you. Again, we took it slow, paying careful attention to the crowds on the balcony for a sign as to the proximity of the bulls. About 75 m up Estefeta, the main drag, the Bulls came hurtling past us, and at this stage it was every man for themselves. It wasn't like last year where all I heard the whole way was Clint squealing like a girl, this year I didn't spot Nath or Richie the whole way, though Richie guarantees me he had me in his sights almost the whole way.

As the bulls past, it was time to run hell for leather, and damn they are quick, I had no chance to keep up. That is until they fall over, get turned around and start trying to gore people on the fences! The beauty of that bit is that everyone starts running back the other way and you have plenty of chance to get close to the bulls again - well the bull that got turned around. In any case, it meant that I got closer to the bulls and my mug was on TV for this years run. It took a few goes to spot, but when they show it 10 times in an hour in the afternoon, there's plenty of opportunity to try and find yourself.

Anyway, didn't spend a whole lot of time in the bull ring after the run, only staying in there for a couple of the bulls that come out. Then eventually we wandered back to the apartment for a bit more rest, getting ready for tonights bull fight that we managed to score tickets for last night. Hopefully some good pics and movies to come from that...

So, alive and well for another festival of San Fermin.