I Love Pamplona Viva San Fermin

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Spain  ,
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

(Ben Here)
I will be brief for this entry as it was along time ago now and I have forgot most details...We took a 5 day break from the trail and caught a train back to Pamplona for the Running of the bulls (I ran 3 years ago but not this year) known as San Fermin. We, as a group did not really need a break but if your in Spain for this festival it would be a waste not to go. Plus Fleur´s boytoy was there which did not hurt matters.

The first night we were there we went to the Harp (Irish bar) to watch Italy flop their way to yet another victory much to the dismay of every Aussie and anyone else who hates watching pussy soccer players fake fouls. Fuck the Italy soccer team and the horse they rode in on!

The next morning was the start of San Fermin which offically kicks off at 12 noon. How this party works is that around 10 AM people start gathering in huge masses down in the old town of Pamplona and the drinking, chanting and food fights slowly start to begin. Thousands of people pack every alley way and as time gets closer to 12 noon the crowd gets thicker and thicker. The colors everyone wears are all white with a red sash and and a red scarf. If you are not wearing this you definatly look out of place. he are bottles of cheap champagne for sale everywhere and everyone is buying them for the express purpose of spraying them on you! All the while people have brought water ballons, huge bottles of ketchup, mustard and tubs of flour to pour on random people too.
We arrived an hour before noon and the place was packed. Chelise and I mananged to get some spots in the middle of a packed out square on top of a dumpster. It was a sweet spot because we were above everyone and therefore were not getting crushed or getting sprayed with everthing. As it got closer and closer to noon you could feel the engery of the crowed starting to build and evey little Spanish chant/song was being sung and people were jumping up and down. There are huge beach balls bouncing all around and the odd champagne bottle is being sprayed. Then at the clocks strikes 12. Rockets explode over the city to signal the party can offically start. At the sound of the explosion the crowd goes wild and all hell breaks loose. Pushing, champagne spraying, beer and wine spitting and the people who are looking down from the millions of balconies that over look the crammed street dump water by the bucket load on the crowd. San Fermin is the chant about this time and everyone is fully loaded by this point. No bulls run on this day -they run the next. The rest of this day can be chalked up to one crazy boozefest in Spain, just like the 3 the follow it.

The next day the bulls ran but they start at 8 AM so needless to say we need not even attmept to make it. Some dude from Boston got stepped on and paralized that day. This is the day that we saw the Big Heads walking through town and the day the I found the famous aussie fountain. This fountain is famous only during running of the bulls because aussie backpackers climb up it and jump into the arm cradle of other backpackers. It is the one thing I was warned to stay away from since every year, someone does not get caught or gets too drunk and jumps off before anyone can catch them. I was part of the cathing crew for a bit until I decided to get some pictures of this crazy event.

The final day we we got up to late again and tried to get a spot to watch the bulls run but since we got there only an hour early, every avaiable place was jammed packed. So while the girls tried to get a spot on the fence I went to a bar and watched the whole thing live on TV. We caught a train back to Leon after all this craziness ready to give our livers a break and get back on the trail!
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Erin on

You guys look like you had a blast! Next time, try renting a balcony. http://www.pamplonabalconies.com. You'll have great views. You're pictures are great though! Hope to see you again in July.

notevayasdenavarra on

Hi! Just gotta say I'm from Pamplona and I love it. Your description about San Fermin caught me by surprise cause I've lived that festival since I was a child so I'm used to all that "crazy" thing. Should say that most crazy things are made by trippers, not by pamplonian people, cause it's our town and we see it every day and we know sanfermin. But visitors think SanFermin is just "FIESTA!!", OK, it's a time to have fun but it's a saint memorial, it's navarra's saint so we feel it inside like something our, we up ours heads when we say we are "pamploneses". I know it must see like something so crazy, but the point is that trippers made it just a big party where drink and lose control, we are much more carefull 'bout our acts. We live SF, they "drink" SF. Guess u know what I mean. Anyway, it feels great that abroad people get interested about Pamplona. Great photos. Sorry about my badly english and hope you come back to ma city :)

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