Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Running of the Bulls

Pamplona isn't the only place where you can take part in the running of the bulls. The Camargue has it's own tradition of bull running. We were lucky to catch a glimpse at le Grau de Roi.

While the camarguaise bulls are slightly smaller than your average breed, I still wouldn't want to be in it's path going full speed for any amount of time. Apparently, French teens do not share that sense of self preservation. Instead, I've learned that your goal should be to stand in the way as long as possible.


Now I suppose that they're given some measure of confidence by the presence of the Gardienne, Camargue cowboys. A top their horses and armed with long spear-ended poles, they attempt to guide the bull down the street. So the fearless spectators must also avoid being trampled by the large quarter horses.


Still seems pretty safe, right? Well, if you're lucky, the gardienne will try to head off the taureau so that it must come to a stop. That's your signal to run into the street grab onto the half tonne bull and attempt to wrestle it to the ground. It usually helps to get about a half dozen pre-teens to jump into the fray, and do not forget the one hopeless soul who will grab the tail to slow ithe bull down. Don't worry, they almost always put a cap on the horns to prevent gorging.
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This work by Ken Maschke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.