Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ultimo Encierro

The World Cup went and left a hole in the daily routine that neither the cycling nor the golf was ever going to fill.

We stuck with the latter until it came a bit processional on the final day. D couldn't believe the size of the bunkers at St Andrews. My father has played the old course on a few occasions and swears that at times he doubted he'd get out the sand traps himself, let alone the ball!

For a couple of days after the final whistle in Johannesburg however, we still had those bizarre goings on over in Pamplona, televised by TVe, a 'sporting' event with some semblance to a public catastrophe. In the US they call out the National Guard for less, though thanks to Hemingway Los Sanfermines remain resiliently popular with American travellers, many of whom fork out over one hundred Euros for a balcony package including a share of a view of the mayhem and assorted Navarrense snacks.

The last of the encierros (see clip above) was expected to provide an appropriately danger-laden send off for the festival. And sure enough, the final tally was five hospitalisations, three from gorings. The caramel-coloured bull in the video brought up the rear and for a while refused to follow his mates (and most of the mozos) into the arena before adding to the injury tally. The back-up plan of the organisers seems to be to send in some chaps with rolled up newspaper to whack the bull on the backside in the hope that it will thus recover its forward momentum. For a while we had our doubts that this would work...

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