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Best Days To Visit The Pamplona Fiesta
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Avoid The Weekend If You Want To Run With The Bulls
Over the last 20 years the fiesta in Pamplona has become more and more popular with many young men keen to try and risk their well-being by attempting to run with the bulls through the streets of Pamplona. However the mistake many of them make is to not do any research before they attempt the run. That is like, attempting to drive in a Grand Prix without ever taking a driving lesson. Yes it is pure madness! The running in front of bulls is obviously a dangerous pastime but there are certain factors that increase the risk greatly and obviously ignorance is one of the most important ones. However in recent years, another factor has come into play; this is the problem about serious overcrowding of the course on certain days. The crowds have become so big that on the 7th and on weekend mornings it has become virtually impossible to run. The authorities do their best and they do clear many people off the course, most of whom are the first-time runners. (Another reason to avoid the weekend as many first-timers get cleared off the course)
However even with this forced evacuation from the course, the mornings of the 7th, 8th and 9th this year will still be a nightmare. Many experienced runners have the view that it is not the bulls that make the event so dangerous, but it is the people. When you have a situation of thousands of people enclosed in a narrow street all running at break-neck speeds, then serious injuries will occur even if there was not the added fact of six bulls and many steers also ploughing through the course.
Even very experienced runners have picked up injuries from being knocked over by panicky runners who are suddenly very scared when the course is blocked by crowds and they know the bulls have been released. The authorities have discussed for many years this obvious problem but have come up with no real solution other than to try and clear more and more first timers off the course. This year it will be even worse, as there is only one weekend in the fiesta. There are 8 bull runs in total during the fiesta and if your intention is to travel a long way to come to an event that you have talked and dreamed about for years, then do it properly and hit town for the second half of the fiesta from the 9th onwards. The party is just as good, in fact many would argue it is even better as you can manage to get table in restaurants and get served in bars without waiting for half an hour. It also means that the pickpockets do not have such a field day with the streets not being jam-packet with 10 people for every square yard.
It is also the case that everything in town is far more expensive for the weekend because of the simple laws of supply and demand, whether it is bullfight tickets balcony spaces or accommodation, the first few days of the fiesta will be very expensive indeed. So if you have any degree of flexibility over your dates then avoid the weekend. It is not a good party scene and it is a nightmare, especially if your intention is to run with the bulls.