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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Sunday, 25 August 2013


Aielo de mal Ferit celebrates their fiestas at the tail end of July, so off we went again, to see the bulls on the streets.

This was the same format as before, except that it was one day less than previous years - the recession impacts on everything here.

We watched the first bull from underneath one of the grandstands. Even here though, you have to be careful... everyone seems to eat packets and packets of sunflower seeds, spitting the shells onto the floor. Unlucky if you happen to be underneath someone that likes them!

Soon enough, we ventured into the main arena. It was fine where we were for a while, until I started to get overcome by the marijuana smoke! To be fair, a lot of people smoke it here, but I just don't happen to like the smell (and no, I have never smoked it, nor had the desire to). We moved to a more central spot, which was fine (with only one joint in sight).

Most of the heifers were sprightly, although not too aggressive, which was very entertaining. The bull, on the other-hand was determined to cause damage. At one point, as I was balanced on the trestle, some fool next to me was waving his leg at the bull. I was horrified - if the bull decided it didn't like his leg, I would have been the one that got the fallout. Thankfully, it decided that feet weren't enough of a target. A few minutes later, it attacked the occupants of a cage opposite us. The cage was around a doorway into a building, but, the people at the back didn't move inside fast enough and the bull managed to gore a man at the front. He was lifted clean off the ground twice, receiving a nasty injury to his thigh. Just because you are in a cage, doesn't mean that you are safe. We have seen this before. Personally, I want to be far enough away, that I don't get drool all over me - that seems to work well.

As usual, the crowd was very well behaved and the bulls weren't mistreated at all. No hitting with sticks or pulling of tails. I know this is not everyone's idea of entertainment, but this is what the animals do week after week. They are not killed afterwards, unlike in a bullfight, as they are in Pamplona. These animals are running free, unimpeded, and are able to act in any way they see fit. It is the foolish spectator that is at fault, if anything happens.

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