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Published: July 17th 2011
Can you see France!?
So, we will start this blog with the good news that Craig and I survived Spain, and the 40+hr drive/ferry it took to get there and back. In particular, we are pleased to inform you that Craig managed to run with the bulls, and survive unscathed. WIN!
Here's the run down of our trip:
Monday 11th: got on the bus about 3pm with about 45-50 other people all headed for spain. We drove to Dover to catch the ferry over to Calais, France. From there we drove through France all the way down and across the border into Spain, headed for our campsite which was approx 30mins out of Pamplona. After 22hrs in the bus, and no sleep, we were very tired, and sore from trying to squish in our seats to get comfy. We arrived around lunchtime on the 12th.
Tuesday: We relaxed by the pool at our campsite, drinking cheap sangria out of a goon sack, and making new friends. We also had a welcome dinner and party then headed back to our orange tent for an early nights sleep...
Wednesday: Early rise, woken at 5am for the 5:30am shuttle to Pamplona for
Before the Bull Run
Potentially the last photo of Craig...
day 13 of the bullrun. We grabbed our plastic bagged breakfast and had a nervous ride on the bus into Pamplona. Both dressed in our whites, with our red panuelo (scarfy-thing) we said our goodbyes just before the town centre, where the idiots who were running had to go... Craig went to run, and I walked the track and found a spot to watch the carnage on the big screens in the arena. Crazy cold cement seats, made it a very uncomfortable seat, but once the action started you hardly noticed... Craig videotaped his run, and we took lots of photos, but ultimately, you had to be there to experience the craziness and the intense atmosphere of being in the crowd or in the run for San Fermin. Craig ran on the fastest bull run in 21 years, with the herd of bulls only taking 2min 11secs to complete the run. I think someone said about 5 or 6 people were knocked out during his run... just insane. After the run, they release "baby" bulls into the ring one at a time to play with the crowd.. Craig stayed in for 2 bulls, and I watched people being cleaned up
someone getting smashed.
left right and centre. There are some crazy people who lay down where the bulls are released from, cos the bulls usually jump into the ring... only sometimes they dont... a few people from our tour found this out! haha!
After the bullrun and festivities/souvenier shopping, we caught the bus back to the campsite and got ready to go to San Sebastian, a beach town in Basque-country. Very pretty town. They have more michellin star chefs there than London, Rome and Paris combined. We tried a few Pinchos (which are like tapas) and a few local beers. Even I had some beer!! We went for a walk up a hill... to see Jesus.. well a statue of him anyways. Was quite the climb! great views from up the top though, well worth the effort. We also explored the town, and had gelati, and walked along the beach, dipping our feet in the ocean. (too cold to swim) San Seb has one of the oldest roads dating back to 1660 when Napoleon invaded and burnt the town down. One road remains, and we got to walk on it, so that was pretty cool. (bit of history for ya there)
In the arena
Safe and Sound
That night we went to the cider house where we had a 4 course meal and all you can drink cider. Messy night. Interesting bus ride home... if you can think of a song you like to sing when you are drunk- it was sung. ........................ then bed.
Thursday: another 5am wake up. last day of the bullrun. This time Craig sat and watched the carnage from the safety of the arena seats with me. The last day is supposed to be for the biggest and scariest bulls, but compared to Craigs run, this one seemed quite tame... as tame as a bull run can be...
Thursday night we got tickets to see the Bull Fight. Prepared for the traditional sangria drenchings, craig wore his whites, whereas I wasnt so keen on going see-through, so I bought a red top to wear- even though my white bra became pink and purple, my domestic skills have totally improved and its white again! yay! go me! The locals were so friendly-unless you were a blonde chick! haha! So we had meatballs, cake, pizza, and drink given to us. The blonde girls we were with (were on tour with us) got
absolutely drenched in all sorts of things... Sangria, beer, cider, fruit, prawns, basically anything that could be thrown was thrown at them... some hit us, but nothing like what they copped. Everyone gets drenched in something, so its sorta expected. The bull fight was ok... an experience, but not really something that appeals to us. the atmosphere was great, the show... not so great. We did see a Matador get gored through the leg though. Injured pretty bad, and apparently almost died, so pretty intense.
After the bull fight we caught up with a few more Busabout crew and then the parties began! sangria poured from heights that made it impossible for people to catch it in the mouths... ask craig, he got it up his nose, in his eyes, and all over his top. haha! they did a sangria train-laying on the already soaked cobblestone path at the town centre, pretended to be bulls... "toro toro". we saw fireworks, we had a candleight ceremony to say farewell to the san fermin festival, we saw parades, danced in the streets, dodged a fire-work metal bull worn by some dude running through the crowd (so dangerous!), met random people, saw
San Sebastian view from the top!
a dude almost get the crap beaten out of him for knocking a balloon stand over and losing 3 of the bloke's balloons! ohhh the craziness of the festival! Just nothing like it.
We caught the last shuttle back to our campsite at 2am, so were very thankful our checkout was 12pm the next day.
Friday: we had a little sleep in and a relaxing day at the campgrounds, packing our knick knacks and stinky sangria and miscellaneous liquid soaked clothes into a plastic bag, then boarded the bus dreading the 22hrs ahead of us... We did see some lovely toilets and pitstops on the way... but nothing beats your own bed.
Saturday: caught the tube, then a rail replacement service cos the tube line towards Acton Town were closed, our bags were getting heavy, and the weather looking glum... When we finally got off the bus, it poured with rain... our 5min walk from the bus stop left us and our stuff soaking wet... didn't matter too much, cos I was jumping in the hot shower asap. 5 loads of washing later... and we're back into our london life.
And that's the story of it.
over and out.
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