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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Bous en Corda

It is the weekend for the 'bulls on a rope' again in Ontinyent.

We went yesterday and this time, took Tracey, a bull 'virgin'. He husband Mark had been before but Tracey had always stod right at the back, away from all of the action. This time, she was right in the mix of it. At first, she was very scared and ran back to the pub, but with a bit of persuading, she was in the centre of things for the rest of the afternoon.

At one point, she had her back to the bull, and kept asking me, "which side is it coming past?" I didn't have the heart to tell her that it was heading in a straight line towards us, and was about to pass (on either side) by less than 6 inches. I just kept saying, stay there, stay there, untill it passed by! She was stunned. I coould feel her shaking as she gripped hold of my arm tightly. At one point, I had to ask her to let go, as she was hurting me! I'm not making fun of her at all. It is a very scarey thing. The people surge around and scream when the bull changes direction, and it is quite a thing to be in the middle of it all. The adrenaline buzz is amazing, and she will be feeling the effects for days.

Today (Sunday) the first bull runs at 4pm. Last year, we thought it was 3pm (as on the Saturday) but we had to wait around for an extra hour before it all started!

On the walk back to the car, we saw someone with blood all over their face and hands. I don't know what happened to him - it could have been the bull, but it was just as likely that he fell over. Nearly everyone seemed to have a drink in their hands. If you ask me, drink (and unsteady feet) don't mix very well with rampaging bulls!

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