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Danger – Running Bulls and People!

August 13, 2012

This weekend was the Running of the Bulls here in Granada. I thought it would be something like the Pamploma, Spain run but I was wrong.

The run started early afternoon on the west side of the city and the bulls were to run down one of the main streets to Lake Granada. I went out about 4pm to the main square, Parque Central, to watch. There were hundreds of men, women and children of all ages in the streets and the park. Many of them drinking beer and talking with their neighbors.

For an hour nothing was happening other than people milling about, with men on horseback riding around every now and then. Every so often there would be screams and the crowds would start running away from the direction the bulls were to arrive. But no bulls!

Fortunately I met friends who were also watching and we stood next to a concrete pillar in a building on the main street. I figured we could run behind it if the bull decided to charge us but it turns out that was not the danger.  The running crowd was far more dangerous.  Whenever someone screamed and started running, everyone else did too with no regard for anyone in their way. I got knocked around and crushed up against a car.  We finally moved to a side street and stood between two parked cars.

Around 5pm the bulls finally arrived, only it was just ONE brown bull. Everyone was screaming and young men and boys were running near him and waving their shirts and acting brave, until he turned toward them. Suddenly the bull pulled away and went running and bucking right into the park where people scattered right and left amid much screaming.

When they finally got him out of the park he ran down the street by me and then stopped. He looked tired, drooling and panting. He was encircled with ropes which men were holding onto, maybe to steer him? Obviously that did not work too well since he had run into the park. He was dragged back down the street where he had already been and I lost sight of him because I was staying in my safe spot between the two cars.

Suddenly, intense screaming and everyone running and TWO bulls, the original brown one and a gray one, came running down the street full speed ahead, free of ropes.  They ran down the main street with tons of people running and screaming along side of them and disappeared from view. It was over for me.

My friends and I walked to our homes and the man found he had his wallet pick-pocketed. It was gone along with his money, some ID and credit cards. Another danger in this type of crowd. I had been warned not to take anything with me even a camera, so that is why there are no photos. This one photo is from The Nicaragua Dispatch, an interesting online newspaper here in Granada.

It was a fascinating experience, but nothing like I had imagined. The danger was from the people more than the animals; crowd mentality and pick pockets.

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From → Granada

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