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Spain
Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Monday, 3 August 2009

Aielo de Malferit - Bull Run


The next town along from us (in the Val de Albaida) is Aielo de Malferit and this week it is their Fiesta week (ours is the first week of September).

Ed and I went along to their bull running event, which has taken place over the last few nights (more fun than watching TV). One of the wide streets has been closed off at two points, with safety cages and grandstands, creating a 'bullring' about 400 meters long and 30 meters wide. Within this area, are several more safety cages as well as a number of A-frames to climb/hide behind.

For the run, the animals are mainly cows, rather than bulls - however, these are not doe-eyed jersey's or docile friesians, but agile, long horned, muscular beasts! More agile than most of the bulls we have seen in the past. At 8pm, a single rocket is launched, signalling the begining of the event. Bang. And everybody starts running away, even though the cow is nowhere to be seen yet! Not a bad idea, considering the speed that they go past. The cow then has the entire area, to run around and chase/consider/attack any potential victims at will.

Thankfully, although there are certainly a few 'heros', there was no chanting, or malicious handling of the animals. After their 20 minute run, a large bull was led into the ring, and the tired but unhurt bull followed the large bull out, into the pen. A few minutes later, another rocket went up, and the next cow entered the arena.

There were certainly a few spills and incidents during the event, but Ed and I sat at the top of an A-frame, feet well out of the way of any passing animals, enjoying the atmosphere, and wondering what on earth H&S in the UK would think of the event!
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