Travel Journal

Blood on the sand

(Sunday 5 September 2010) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 24 – 8/28/10 Madrid
I want to take this time to apologize to all the citizens of Madrid and especially the people of San Sebastian de los Reyes.
Learning from our mistake the previous day we got on the Metro’s first train at 6 AM and arrived well before the Running of the Bulls. I was able to walk the route from the bull pen to the stadium which was about 3k and formulate my plan while Julie got a prime seat to watch the impending carnage. While there were a few persons my age running which was a relief, I noticed I was the only one wearing hiking boots since I had not brought any other shoes. Well, I don’t think actual running shoes are required at the Running of the Bulls… and an announcement in English said persons wearing sandal or high heel shoes would not be allowed to participate – nothing about hiking shoes mind you! I figured I’d run, oh say 200 meters before I’d have to jump off the course forgetting about the speed I had seen the previous day. I stationed myself at the last curve which gave me a view of about 200 meters to the previous curve.
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The cannon went off startling me. I saw the crowd swelling at the previous curve and took off running. I had only gone about twenty meters and turned to look back at the curve I had just left and saw the people running behind me. Another twenty meter and I looked back to see a bull directly behind me seriously about 5 feet away. Pure terror and the conviction that I was about to be trampled to death raced through my brain. I dashed to the right and immediately tripped falling heavily on the ground but far enough that I was out of the way of the bull. I had heard that the best thing to do was to cover your head if you went down which I did. Laying there, I did some quick math in my head. I knew there was 6 bulls running and I had just seen the one which by now had roared past me like a jet plane. So I was lying near the middle of the road with five more bulls coming. I decided rolling to the side would be my best bet and did so. I heard the cries of the other runners as they tried to dodge me. A few seconds later I stood up to find that everyone had passed me. There was a heap of six bodies lying behind me, dead or alive, I could not tell. I did a Knight move and quickly walked away before anyone could blame me.
Bloody and beaten I reached Julie who insisted I see the paramedics. In the ambulance they cleaned up my cuts on the hand, elbows and knees. I knew I had a mild sprain on my right wrist but couldn’t communicate that to the paramedics and even if I could, there’s not much they could do to treat it.
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I limped back to the hotel and decide to pass on the rest of the plans for the day and instead just rested in the bed. Julie did visit the Temple Debod and the Prado Museum that day and came back to the hotel. I was a bit better so we took the metro to do a Tapas crawl. We stopped at three bars and the tapas were not really that great and definitely not filling so we got dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant before heading home near midnight.

  • So Typical So Beautiful by The Elder
    • Crying baby by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
  • Bull run by Nellie gillogly


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