Monday, July 7, 2008

El Encierro

La Fiesta es un deporte por hombres valientes! Without a doubt La Fiesta is not for the faint of heart. Stamina, and industrial quantities of it are required. It just doesn’t stop and eventually the moment of truth, in this case “siesta” hits everyone. People fall asleep wherever they are and stay that way until their body has dealt with the liquor or fatigue and they pick up again where they left off as if nothing were.

This morning I watched the Encierro, or running with the bulls, from an apartment that had a great view of the Plaza Consistorial. From there I could see thousands of young men and women waiting for their collective appointment with destiny or even, perhaps, with death.

Every now and then a bull will kill a runner. It doesn’t happen that often, but I’m sure that the potential risk is one of the major attractions of this event. I don’t know if my grandfather ever actually ran in an Encierro, but whether or not he did, it’s certainly thanks to him and his novel, The Sun Also Rises, that so many runners still see it as a “must do.”

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