Pamplona – July 7th, 2009
We get woken up at the ungodly hour of 5am to the sound of a megaphone screaming “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole!” to get everyone up. Its a bit of a ruckus in the morning, people trying to have showers and people freezing their balls off. Its freaking cold. Everyone is stumbling around trying to get organised and onto a bus by 5:30pm.
I don’t bother with a shower, just get my outfit on and wait around in the cold. And it was pretty hard to get changed with how cold it was it was get changed outside or in the warmth of the tent. So I chose the tent, and it sucked.
We all pile onto buses once again and try to get a bit more sleep on the bus. I mean cmon its early, and I doze off for most of the trip but once I get to Pamplona its a hilarious sight pulling into the bus station. Above the pamplona bus stop is a huge park, and this park seems to have been home to a few thousand souls last night, either sleeping there because they are backpackers and have no where to sleep or they just randomly passed out. Those that did pass out looked like they were in the most awkward positions.
Once we get off the train, I can already feel the buzz of the place. Everyone is getting excited. We gather up the top and make our way in. Whilst grabbing a bite on the way to the bull run. A few of the boys are running, I decide I’m gonna sit out and try to watch this one. We farewell the boys who are running and make our way to a decent spot.
We stumble down the streets and end up on the course, and its packed not to mention a little surreal seeing people still drinking and dancing. As well as the pungent smell of urine. We dart over to just outside the stadium. We find a position on the fence, but can’t see over the people camped out on top of it, so we just peer through the fence rungs. Its a long and cold wait for the run to start. I can feel myself get more and more excited as the hour approaches.
We are fighting off people trying to get closer and its a good wait, and then we see a bunch of white outfits running down the street. Then about 5 minutes later we hear a rocket go off (this signals that the bulls are out on the course) and then not long after a 2nd rocket goes off (to signal all bulls are out on the course). We then hear a mass of thundering feet heading down the street. Its a blur of white and red basically. I did’nt really see much. I saw the bull for about a quarter of a second. A 3rd rocket goes off, and the security guard (seen in the photo) disappears, so I run through and jump ontop of the first fence, only to see a massive steer that guides the fighting bulls run straight past as well as a crazed mob dressed in white running to get into the arena.
Even without seeing much of the bull run itself, just to hear the thundering of the feet, and the bulls rampaging into the arena was fantastic. The crowd is so abuzz with excitement, well as abuzz as one can be at 5 past 8 in the morning. I’m as excited as can be, I just wish I ran, but I have 2 more days to do that. I am glad I watched it though. We all make our way back towards the campsite, finding out that only 2 of the 4 boys made it in – the other 2 had cameras and were taken out.
We get back to camp and chill out, in preparation for the Sangria BBQ that is going to unfold later on in the day. We chill outside the pool, some got sleep, some swam. Then we go over to the campsite and wait for the Sangria and BBQ to be let loose on us. And by 1pm when this is meant to start the TopDeck crew are filling up our glasses with Sangria and we aren’t even allowed to finish our drinks at first, you would get half way down and then its filled back up. Cannot complain about that kind of service.
The BBQ was pretty awesome. And incredibly loose. Apart 30 minutes in, there was already boat races and drinking games being played. Its hard to escape it. There is a tonne of drinking being done. Its loose and messy. At one stage on the way back from the toilet I notice about 5 people passed out. There was a lot of stupid things being done. I saw one of the boys spew out of his nose. Nice. It finished at about 5 and allowed people to get ready to go into Pamps for the night.
The bus trip in is fine, and pretty packed. We walk through the streets and dance and party with the spanish. Its pretty fun just cruising around and drinking sangria. Well it was, then after walking through a crowd, I realise my camera is missing. A good search and nothing coming up with the girls that I was with and we don’t find it. Shit huh. All photos from Madrid, San Sebastian and Pamplona now gone. SHIT!
So I do what anyone does, keep drinking, and partying. Though somewhat in a shitty mood. I demolish my drinking slouch and we make our way back to the bus stop to see the fireworks. The fireworks are pretty good from memory, and then its back to camp and try to get to sleep for tomorrow.