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2 replies
Pamplona Posse Review
Richie
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Well I have been traveling for a while and have visited a lot of places, I have even visited Pamplona before but stayed out at a campsite (ended up spending most of my time drunk at the campsite) but 4 months ago I had the time of my life with the Pamplona Posse at the wildest party in the world. I decided that I was going to run with the bulls in Pamplona to celebrate becoming 40. After checking out a number of different sites I finally found the Pamplona Posse site and wow… boy does it contain a lot of information, it is also incredibly funny. When I contacted them they sent me out a email pointing out that it was not a “chocolate on the pillow” type of deal, in fact they said they did not want any people in the group that were “ stuck-up, boring, prissy, tedious, dull, uninteresting, wearisome, tiresome, lacklustre, unexciting, humdrum, uninspiring, insipid and characterless.” Already I liked their approach, I did not fancy partying with anybody of that nature either. After a rapid exchange of emails I booked up with these guys. For the two months before the fiesta I received a string of funny newsletters with a lot of useful information about the fiesta and how things work in the Posse. Boy do they like to party, but their articles about running with the bulls were full of incredible insights, these guys were certainly the experts as far as bull running goes. I was not disappointed when i got there. The guy who does the walking tours of the bull running was an American guy who told us some invaluable advice and answered all our questions showing his experience ad in an entertaining way. The guys at the Posse sorted us out with a room in an apartment right in the heart of the fiesta in the old part of town. It was great only a 5 min walk to the bull run and to all the partying. The apartment was just what we wanted, basic student type accommodation and the bonus was that the other two rooms had 2 nice Aussie girls, and a couple of American guys, so we all made a great team and ended out partying on the town together. The Posse guys even threw a drinks party for us so we got to meet the other folks with the Posse over a few glasses of Sangria. My first two runs were quite tame but my third one was great and that was down to having a few beers with some of the other runners with the Posse who gave me a few tips about how to get the best out of a run. It was an incredible experience and i made so many good friends. So if you are going to Pamplona to have a drunken sunbathe (like me the first time) stay at a campsite. Otherwise if you want to run with the bulls with the best party bunch at the fiesta then get in touch with the Pamplona Posse. They Rock!

GotYa
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.I personally repeated bad experiences with booking a balcony with them. Only once did they open the door. The other times, it was quite struggle to get in to our balcony. We arrived at the doors at the time they told us to on our tickets. No one was there except once.

Next time I’d book with another company who can ensure its seamless experience for others.

ValiantLayla
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This year a group of four girls, including myself had the pleasure of going to San Fermin with The Pamplona Posse.

Arrival: Upon arriving at the train station, my group was confused as where to go to link up with the Posse, though this is largely my fault for waiting for the last minute to ask specific directions. After a few minutes and talking with the taxi drivers, we figured out where we needed to be. First, we went to the old headquarters of the Pamplona Posse. We called their number and they promptly sent someone from their new headquarters down to fetch us and bring us over. Upon arriving at the headquarters, there were a few staff members outside and they welcomed us graciously. They were fun, informative, and in good spirits. I went inside to fill out some paperwork, and take care of some payments. Everything was together, flat keys, bullfight tickets, balcony space tickets, clothing packages, etc. This was all handled quickly and then we were escorted by two other staff members to our flat. On the way , they told us some things about the festival, events that were coming up, meeting places, emergency phone numbers, all that jazz.

Accommodation:

We were a group of four females, and were assigned a very spacious flat. The flat could easily and comfortably fit 10 beds. Upon arrival, there was only one other couple in a room. When we left, the couple was already gone, and then there was an additional two females. There were two spacious bathrooms, a fully furnished kitchen, living room, and four balconies. The flat was clean as well. We didn’t lock any of our valuables up, and nothing was disturbed or missing. The flat was near a fountain that had a lot of people/activity around therefore it was always fun to stand out on the balcony and look down below at “bohemia”.

Clothing Packages:
In the newsletters, packages containing a scarf, sash, a Pamplona Posse t-shirt, and a wine skin are offered. Though it isn’t something you MUST buy, we bought a package for each of us, and were very happy with our purchases. This also helps when you are new, as you can be identified by the group.

Newsletters: The Pamplona Posse sends out weekly/daily newsletters in the months leading up to San Fermin. In the newsletters is helpful advice/tips on bull running, bull fights, events, avoiding getting sick/pick pocketed, memories, stories, and historical facts. I found these letters as good advice and entertainment.

Bullfights/bull runs
First, i know there are a lot of people very against bullfights. Most of these people fail to see the history/tradition behind this event such as good vs evil, man vs the beast, ect. I found the bullfights very interesting, and the crowd was just as interesting. For the most part, the fights were as humane as a bullfight can be. If you are a queasy type i would suggest focus on drinking your sangria, crowd entertainment or just don’t go. Though we did not run, we did view the bull runs. We were set up by the Posse with a balcony space, right about the deadly turn in the course for viewing. We were a bit confused on where to go to get to the balcony , but the Posse had staff in front of the flat that gathered us up and took us up to the balcony. They offered us drinks and snacks during the run. The run is very interesting and a must see. I did what i like to call “drinking with the bulls”.

Parties:
The Posse parties like none other. Each day there are planned parties at different times, however with the same meeting location. At any point in time, you could go to a specific place where the Posse essentially took over and find a staff member around to help with any questions, point you in the direction of the main group or anything you needed. This was also the case most of the time right outside the headquarters. The parties are all different types from, Hawaiian tea parties, transgender theme party, party party, story time party, etc. Yes….San Fermin is largely based on the party atmosphere nowadays, and if you don’t like people drinking around you, smoking, “free-mindedness”, etc you would have better luck going to a library in Montana.

My one and only regret from my whole experience this year is not being able to be with the Posse for a longer period of time. I am already looking at next year’s San Fermin, and will be staying longer for sure. This festival is something to not just see, but be part of. The freeness of everything and everyone is amazing. The people you meet, the sights you see, the sayings you learn such as my personal favorite “ NO MAS BOCADILLOS” will stay with you forever. I have read posts on websites that said the Posse was disorganized, groupie like, and all together no fun. IF you go to San Fermin and don’t have a blast, you messed up somewhere. I found the Posse well managed, not a tyranny, and fun. The staffs all have jobs in which they complete, but at the same time, they will enjoy themselves after their job is complete. I also read somewhere where someone said they Posse staff didn’t even know who they were. Every time we walked around the main square, or anywhere really, the Posse knew who me and my group was, no questions asked, and they were always friendly, and wanting us to join all events/activities.

Bottom Line: If you want to experience San Fermin, see the sights, be involved in the tomfoolery, able to tell stories for years to come, and are open minded, the Pamplona Posse is for you. I can’t wait until i can go again in 2014 myself! God Speed and Good Luck!

V/r,

Lauren

V/r,

Lauren R