Saturday, July 7, 2007
So we got up at 4:30 am in order to get a good spot to watch the bull run, known as the encierro. When we first got to the downtown area, it looked like a waste dump – the aftermath of all-day and all-night partying. The workers began setting up fences and we squeezed ourselves into a plum spot. The route from the bull pen to the bullfighting ring is a short one, and the most popular spot to watch the spectacle is at “the turn,” which is a sharp turn where the bulls and runners alike often slip. We situated ourselves at the perfect place where you can see the bull coming down and then make the turn. A number of us stood there since shortly after 5 am and had to endure massive crowds pushing and shoving us, drunken guys falling on us and trying to steal our spot, as well as street cleaners spraying gallons of water at us with something very similar to a firehose (we were drenched from the waist down). We thought, okay, the bull run better be worth it. However, with 30 minutes to go (the bulls start running at 8 am), the police told us that we were not allowed to stand in the area that we were in, even though the guys next to us had asked the policemen when we first got there whether we could stand there and they said yes. They made all of us move to a different area, and of course by now, any visible spot has been taken. We valiantly tried to see if we could still catch a glimpse of the action, but there was no way with the crowds of people packed on the fences and all around. We didn’t even know when the bulls ran by us. Sadly, all our efforts were for nothing and my mom and my sister are genuinely mad at me now. So unfortunately, I didn’t any shots of the bulls running – you’ll find much better pics on the internet or watch live telecast on www.sanfermin.com. Here is a picture of the people on the balconies with the great views and away from the crowds… how I wish I was up there with them this morning!