Quick! Before the bulls get released at San Fermin, Spain

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Opening ceremony, San Fermin

The GPS hanging from the windscreen was counting down the 22 hours until we would finally arrive at our destination. We were absurdly late, so we drove without any breaks to make it in time for the “Running of the Bulls” opening ceremony in Pamplona, Spain. We darted from England via boat to France, through France and into Espanola land, Spain. If you’re driving through France in a hurry I suggest the toll roads, if you are rich I suggest the toll roads, but if you are budget travelers like us, set your GPS to no-toll roads as the French will rape your wallets for all your pennies at these toll gates.
Two months prior to this event we had booked online for a camp spot at El Molino for 4 nights. I highly recommend doing this because you don’t just want to turn up; odds are you will be left high and dry or most probably drunk and tired trying to find someone to sleep with just to get accommodation.

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Sangria fights at opening ceremony

We were totally drained by the time we finally arrived at our campsite after our ridiculous stint of driving where we met two of our mates, also road tripping around Europe. Battling the supermarket crowd we stocked up on enough potent booze to fuel our van for the duration of the trip along with a pitiful amount of food and our costumes for the big event. If you left it to the last minute as we did Carrefour supermarket, in town (where we shopped) sells very cheap apparel for the festival. Back at the campground we stated setting up when we bumped into a few people we had met partying at IOS on the Greek Islands. Joining them in celebrations of living the dream and being there at the Running of the Bull’s time got the better of us and before we knew it there was only 4 hours until the opening ceremony begun.


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Running of the bulls street party
With a quick power sleep and all still slightly pissed everyone wriggled into their outfits and lined up to catch the bus into town.  Stepping off the bus we walked out from the underground terminal into the street and merged into the sea of white clothed party goers with red scarfs hats and belts. Now this is going to be a party I thought lining up in the queue which was now wrapped around the corner shop to purchase sangria. The crowd became denser the closer we go to the square, it was absolute mayhem there and the ceremony had not even begun! We decided to take a break, plonking our asses on a grass patch to hang out and drink. We soon became bored of this, due to our drunkenness, so we decided to go rampage through the cobble stoned streets and into the shops for more Sangria.
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Myself and two mate rampage through the streets
Thousands of people, all in the same colored outfits were waiting for the bell, which would signal the start of the festival off. Everyone in the square was holding up their red flags representing something, I don’t know what and then everyone splashes their sangria around soaking everyone as it left purple stains on everyone’s outfits. You don’t head to the opening ceremony without getting the smallest bit of sangria on your clothes. Everyone expects this, so they have spare costumes for the festival after the ceremony, plus it wouldn’t be as much fun, a massive alcohol fight is hilariously entertaining and great to be a part of.
With ourselves completely wasted and stumbling back out of the square from a whole day of serious drinking, it was time to get some rest as tomorrow would bring the actual “Running of the Bulls”
  1. Marko @ Travel Photo
  2. Jaryd Krause

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