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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Monday, 26 December 2011

Bous en Corda

This year, the weather was very mild for the Ontinyent Bulls on a rope. We only went on the Sunday, as I was in England until late on the Saturday night!

Of the 3 bulls, there was only 1 which was very enthusiastic. The first bull worked his way to the town centre fairly quickly, but then only roamed a little, barely returning to the main square before going back. Something of a disappointment. The second bull was even worse. He didn't want to go anywhere, and spent much of his time stnading still, while the crew tried to pull him around. They didn't stand much of a chance. He would have been quite safe in a china shop - I'm certain nothing would have been broken!

After a boring couple of hours, the third bull made up for it. This one was very active and happy to run up and down the streets for a long time. We got much more involved this time, following him to different parts of the arena and encountering him several times.

There was one man, who spent all of his time with the bull (he must have been fit) with a camera, filming the crowd as much as the bull. At one point, as I was with a crowd hiding in a large doorway, he coaxed the bull up the steps where we were. Everyone screamed and ran out of the way, leaving me as the next person in line for the bull. Within seconds, I realised that the bull didn't want to go up the stairs, and laughed with relief - but then I noticed that the cameraman had filmed everyone's panic (including mine) and was laughing his head off. I'm probably on Youtube somewhere, looking terrified.

When the bull was in the main square, Ed and I stay near a large street fixture, giving us the opportunity to evade the bul, whichever way it goes. However, I got caught out... The bull came down the road, and then turned into a small street next to us. I had avoided the bull, but the rope attached to it was now on the wrong side of me. I realised straight away, but some other fool panicked, and grabbed my leg, shouting 'the rope the rope'. Having moved me the wrong way, I now found myself having to get my leg back off/over the rope which was now several feet in the air. Thank goodness I have long legs. When Ed got to me again, he was quite relieved - he had seen me with one leg right up in the air and wondered what on earth I was doing!

A little later, I sat down on a doorstep for a break. As I put my hand down, it was instantly very cold... then I realised that it was not the marble floor, it was wet, not cold. Yuck. Someone had dropped a drink and I had just sat in it. I had to spend the following 1/2 hour with a cold wet behind! Thank goodness it was dark, so nobody noticed!

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