After what seems like an eternity of partying in the streets (2 days, no sleep). I finally came back to Edurne’s house in Aoiz to touch base and catch up with some essentials (shower, sleep, shave, proper meal and email checking).
The San Fermín fiestas are verrryyyyyy long. Still on going. Pamplona city centre is pretty large, the people partying are in the tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands). It’s quite hard to imagine so many people dressed in white with red scarfs from all over the world; mostly Spanish, but a huge amount of Australians, and quite a lot of North American and British folk there too. It’s also hard to explain how it’s not about being brutishly cruel to bulls to someone who hasn’t been. I was surprised to find out that the misconception about the customs/traditions of these fiestas couldn’t be more the opposite. When the crowds cheer it’s for the bull and very rarely the man who jumps infront of one. I guess I could write eons worth about how warped the understanding of the Spanish customs are, but I’m just here to say what I’m upto and what I’ve been doing for the past 3 days. 😀
The day after I arrived (Sunday) I went to explore the dam the village has here in Aoiz, with Vidal. The problem with it being in this part of Spain is that owing to the terrorism threats of the Basque people (in particular small villages like this one). A lot of restrictions exist. So Vidal and I had to make it by hook and by crook to get near the thing.
We later went for a drive to some smaller village up near the border with some of Vidal’s friends to some retreat… not sure why but we did it all the same. Very beautiful area in the world.
So on with the San Fermín the Monday started off with the Chupinazo which basically marks the commencement of the fiestas with a big bang in a square with thousands of people crushed together, I didn’t participate, partly because I didn’t want to stand crushed in a square for hours to make sure I got a space to see it a rocket go off. I meanwhile, stayed with Vidal and had a kick-off breakfast at his friend’s house Luis, and followed that up by going into the centre and enjoy the after kick off soak up that thousands get involved with. Basically spray everyone with wine and suchlike drinks over their white clothes. Quite enjoyable. Although I have to point out that I was told not to take my wallet or my camera as there are a lot of pick-pockets. So all the pictures of the event are from my phone. I apologize for the poor quality and lack of plentiful photos.
Quick explaination of the people with pen on their faces… Vidal took some permanent markers with him in the event of (and with experience the actualization of..) sleeping tourists completely K.O.’d on the floor sleeping like the dead… we gave them a work of art then woke them up and photographed them… it is quite special.