Team Entourage's 2006 European Adventure travel blog


Me and my Californian friend






people would lay in front of the bull pen in hopes that...

the bulls didn't always jump though



....After the bulls passed me on the street, I decided to climb back through the gate and run after 'em.

The bulls get rounded up at the end of the run in the bullring. But after they enter, they only allow a certain number of people enter before they close the gates. This is to keep the numbers down.

Let me tell you guys something, the encierro was scary enough, but the bull ring was TERRIFYING! I made it into the ring and found myself surrounded 360 degrees by tens of thousands of people in the stands yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs. The sun was blinding in my face as I entered and I found myself in the middle of the gravel bull ring with about 2 hundred other runners. I felt like a gladiator ready to do battle. That is, a gladiator wearing Asics running shoes and a backwards Boston Red Sox hat.

The bull ring was intense. They would release a bull and it would just fly around the ring trying to take people out. It was scary because you couldn't always see the bull. Instead you would see a wall of people in front of you and they would be shifting like the water in the ocean. To the right, then to the left. And before you knew, they would all shift to one side and you would find yourself face to face with a 600 pound angry bull running 25 mph straight at you.

Dust and dirt was everywhere. The sun was pounding and sweat was pouring off my face. After a small period of time having only one bull out there, the Spaniards would release TWO BULLS. This was the most adrenaline pumping experience I've been apart of. One bull would be running and you would hear a guy next to you yell, "TWO BULLS, TWO BULLS, THEY'RE RELEASING TWO"! And another bull would explode into the ring from its pen. People would panic and after that it was everyone for themselves. It was like line-backer drills during football. Your head had to be on a swivel or else you could find yourself in BIG trouble.

I saw some real crazy stuff in that ring. I saw guys, especially Aussies and Americans, get punched in the face by Spaniards because they weren't suppose to touch the horns of the bull. Apparently, it's a big no-no. I saw a big farmboy from Texas or Nebraska actually jump on the bulls back and try to ride it. I saw dudes get just flattened by a head-on smash into their chest by the bull. There was a couple times where I myself had to do a little "juke" and then dive outta the way. There was a time where I did a running jump up onto the wall. As I was falling backward toward the hard cement I was fortunate enough to grip the edge of the wall with the backs of my knees. I found myself hanging upside down like a gymnast.

The bullring is so much crazier because it is volatile and unpredictable. And believe me, NO ONE is safe. If you're standing in the ring, you're in danger. I would do the encierro again, but not the bullring.

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