Friday, July 15, 2011


            I woke up that morning with a stomach full of regret. It could have been the excessive drinking or that bad mayonaisse coming back to literally bite me in the ass, I'll never know. But, the next few days I bounced to and from the bathroom like some kind of sick and twisted teather ball game. But I tried not to let it stop me from enjoying Pamplona.

           On the 6th of July the running of the bulls festival, which is known as San Fermin, has its opening ceremonies. At noon, a rocket is shot from the balcony of their city hall. Everyone dresses in white from head to toe with a red sash around their waist and a 'panuello' or scarf around their neck. You can buy the sash and scarf for 6 euros and you can also find cheap white clothes since this time of year they have TONS of 'rebajas,' or sales. I would suggest not investing in too expensive of clothing because it is going to get doused in sangria, wine, sweat, dirt and god knows what else. But make sure to dress the part because you don't want to be labeled a 'girri,' or tourist.


           For the chupinazo, everyone packs into the city. They estimated that this year there were one million people in the city for san fermin. It is impossible to move really. You typically just get tossed to and fro with the masses. It is like being stuck in a sea of drunk people during a storm, complete with the spray of sea water (or in this case sangria) in your face. There is pandamonium everywhere. It is easy to get separated from people and even harder to find them again since everyone is wearing the same thing!

the crowds

WARNING: you will get bitten! :) note my friend patxi's face on the left side of picture.
           The clubs are packed with people and the streets are sticky. I even got bitten on two separate occasions. I was walking by, and a drunk guy bit me on my shoulder in order to get my attention! I came armed with a bota (or leather sack) filled with sangria. You can use these to spray wine into your mouth or onto other people. The partying typically carries on late into the night. But, I decided to go to bed earlier than most (1am) in order to get a good nights sleep for the bull run I had in front of me the following day.

If you would like an idea of what the chupinazo is like, then see the following link:

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