Sunday, 5 December 2010
A timely early dinner, and off to Ontinyent again to see the second day of the bulls on a rope. Start time 4pm, so leave home at 3ish. We got to our usual parking spot, and there were still a few spaces left. Perfect.
We strolled to the road where the bulls start, and took some pictures around the corral and leading to the old town centre. Strolling up the hill, I was impressed that there were so many people about so early. Yesterday, no one appeared until after the first bull had started. As we neared the main square (still in a narrow street) I suddenly became aware that there were actually a LOT of people in front of us, and they were all looking in the same direction. Ah. Obviously there us a bull just in front of us - this wasn't a part of the game plan. Sure enough, it had started at 3pm and we had walked into the midst of it all. When the bull finally went into the main square we followed it. At least now we had somewhere to escape, if we needed to.
We had a drink in a nearby bar during the interval. They have a TV on, which is showing the bull live. When the next one came out, we saw it on the TV, then looked out of the window as it ran past! After a few minutes, when we had both finished our drinks, we went back outside. All the people were running as I left the bar, so I headed the same way (towards the main square), but within a few feet, I realised that I was now actually being passed by the bull. He ran into the square ahead of me, but I was certainly glad to be out in the open again.
Once the 3rd (and final) bull went back through the arches for the last time, Ed and I followed, as our car was in that direction. When we were part way down the hill, to our suprise, the bull decided to come back up again. Hundreds of people running in such a narrow space was rather dangerous. Most of them are running one way, but looking another (at the bull) so everyone is bumped and pushed about. Finally, we broke into the square again. About 10 minutes later, it went down through the arches again, but this time it really was the final time!
We strolled down to the bottom and across the bridge. It was very pretty in the twilight, with the lights on everywhere. Then I realised... lots of people again, all looking in the same direction... sure enough, once again, we had managed to get between the bull and its destination. This time, instead of going uphill to the corall, it had gone downhill, and had to be brought back. When it came past us, it decided it didn't want to go up the hill and stopped and turned. This time, I was very unsure of which way to go. I looked for Ed, and he was trapped by a low wall, with a very large drop behind him. In front of him was a signpost which certainly wouldn't have protected him! Thankfully, they bull then decided to follow the crowds, and went back to the corral on it's own.
Everyone sang songs and cheered. Time to celebrate the end of another fiesta.