Seriously? What's up with that? I'm all for an early start... like when the sun comes up... but 4:30 is pushing it a little.
Then at 6:00am the bull run folk decided to get up and head down to bull run street to either line up to run or get a good spot to watch. So no chance of a lie in today to get over jet lag!
I heard the gun go off to start the run but decided not to go down and watch for two reasons:
Firstly, I don't really agree with it as these same bulls will get slaughtered tonight in the bull fight and secondly, I didn't want to risk injury even by watching as the crowds were crazy.
so I headed out to the streets once the run itself was over and the red-and-white brigade were still out in full force... either still going strong with beers in hand or recovering from the night before with hot chocolate and churros (donut type pastries to dunk in the thick chocolatey drink).
I warmed up with the 2nd option. Did I mention it is COLD here!?
Yes. Considering it's summer, 13 to 20°C is a little of a shock to be honest, and I picked this time as I don't do cold! last week was apparently hot and next week seems to be warming...
So I spent the morning walking the streets of Pamplona's old city which is truly beautiful and which was thankfully quicky cleaned up by an army of street cleaners after the night before.
I met an ER trauma nurse from the USA, Dennis, who is starting the Camino Norde on Saturday. We had a good chat, shared some tapas and found a shop selling trekking poles, which we both needed.
as the morning passed the streets filled up with more red-and-white clad festival goers ranging in age from babies in pushchairs to old men singing and swigging beer, no doubt reminiscing of times when they were young and fast enough to outrun an angry bull. Now they support their sons and grandsons with some liquid encouragement.
Every other shop is selling San Fermin memorabilia and it seems all locals as well as train loads of tourists join in the festivities.
A few startled looking pilgrims wandered through the crowds, passing through Pamplona on their pilgrimage and not sure what to make of the craziness, a sharp contrast no doubt to the sleepy villages they've experienced until now. They had best keep walking as there's not a bed or park bench to be found this week in Pamplona for those that haven't booked in advance.
So the plan is to have good night's rest before starting the camino in the morning. I'm staying at a university res tonight which is outside of the old town and away from the party. It means a 3km walk tomorrow before I even meet up with the camino route...
Enjoy some pictures of my morning spent in the old town.