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Pamplona Bull Run

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Barrym81

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais, Camino Fisterra
Hi, I will be picking up where I left off my Camino last time in Pamplona on 13th July. I will be there for last day of the Bull Running. Just wondering if it will be as crazy as the reports say? Am i better off just walking on or stopping for a night? Has anyone here ever run with the bulls on previous caminos? Any info. much appreciated :)
 

SFletcher

Una flecha sigue una flecha
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Pamplona (2018); Pamplona - Burgos (2019)
Reports are that finding accommodation in Pamplona during San Fermin will be very difficult as even the pilgrim hostels get filled. It may be better to plan stops before and after Pamplona and just walk through the city.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
I was there inadvertently on the first day, and the nearest affordable room was a dorm room at the university near the airport!

The streets are closed for the run, so you cannot get through the city until about fifteen minutes after the run ends. Since the run typically takes under three minutes, it is not a major delay!

The crowds pack the street, there is a lot of drunken behavior, there is vomit everywhere, and there is an ongoing campaign against sexual assault.

On the other hand, the real reason for the celebration has nothing to do with the running of the bulls, and there are some fantastic parades and ceremonies.

Santo Domingo de la Calzada also has a bull run with its annual festival to celebrate Santo Domingo, the celebration is far more enjoyable. I particularly liked the parade with the teenage boys in local garb doing a chicken dance down the street!

59454
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Pamplona is very busy during the San Fermin fiesta. You will struggle to find anywhere to stay, unless you are prepared to pay extremely high prices. For example, I believe the municipal albergue is closed for the duration. I was in Pamplona for the festival as a young colt many years ago and loved it. I was obliged to transit Pamplona for several hours during the festival last year at the completion of my Aragones camino, in order to get transport to Madrid, and was considerably less enthused. Certainly the 35+ year gap between visits influenced my opinion, but I nonetheless think San Fermin and the Camino provide for a titanic collision of mindsets.
 

Barrym81

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais, Camino Fisterra
I agree, probably better to just walk on through. Pity cos its meant to be a nice city but I will only be dissapointed if I see is during the SanFermin festival.
 

TMcA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
I took a Spanish course at my local university a couple of summers ago. The teacher put on some of the daily clips of the run which were on Spanish television. I'm sure you can find some if you care to do so.

In 1968 I was there for the run. I went to the holding corral to see the bulls the day before. Once I saw the size of the bulls, I decided not to run, but I did watch the "running". The drunkeness mentioned by @falcon269 was very evident. It is also part of the narrative in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.

You can see a little of this drunken behavior in Pamplona on the nights when food and drink prices are slashed. I think it was on a Thursday night when our group of eight happened to be there and the streets of the central city were jammed with people (drinks are served outside as well as inside). Restaurant after restaurant was filled. This festive mood continued for some all night. Lest I be accused of criticism of the behavior of Pamplona's party-hearty crowd, I also recall some of the same very late night fun in Zermatt, of all places. Went through there in the summer when a lot of people are walking around in climbing gear. Very surprising that some of them drank half the night to prepare for their next ascent.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I won't say what I feel about the whole affair - but on the positive side, there is a wonderful refugio just a very few miles out of Pamplona at Cizur Menor so it may suit you best to stroll out of Pamplona and make your first night there?

http://www.elalberguedemaribel.com/spanish/index.htm
I stayed there in 2017 when I walked through Pamplona during San Fermín. It took us a while to get through the city but I loved seeing everyone dressed in white and red, and all the excitement in the air.
I had made a reservation for myself and a friend at Maribel Roncal, but there were many pilgrims who were caught by surprise that they were walking at such a busy time. One woman that I met was able to get a bed at Casa Paderborn in Pamplona.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Hi, I will be picking up where I left off my Camino last time in Pamplona on 13th July. I will be there for last day of the Bull Running. Just wondering if it will be as crazy as the reports say? Am i better off just walking on or stopping for a night? Has anyone here ever run with the bulls on previous caminos? Any info. much appreciated :)
I've run with the bulls, but not on Camino. Unlike TMcA, who went to the holding pen and saw how big the bulls are, I had just seen them on the little train station televisions. They look much smaller there. I believe it was on my second day in Spain.

My first Camino was later, well after the fiesta. The city is much different at other times of the year.

My second Camino was during the fiesta, but we walked on through. Personally, I wouldn't advise trying to run with the bulls while on Camino. When we walked through during los San Fermines, we didn't try and stop for a night in Pamplona. It is famously rather full during that week. Rather, we stopped 5 km before in Trinidad de Arres and then walked right through Pamplona in the early morning. However, be aware that the bull run uses some of the same streets as the Camino and they will be blocked off until after the run. So if you are walking through in the morning, you may need to detour. This may not be an issue if you are starting in Pamplona, especially if you are starting later in the day, after they have dismantled the street barricades.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC 77; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones18; Logrono-Leon 19.
Santo Domingo de la Calzada also has a bull run with its annual festival to celebrate Santo Domingo, the celebration is far more enjoyable. I particularly liked the parade with the teenage boys in local garb doing a chicken dance down the street!
Oh my! And when it that, may I ask?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
I think the OP should have enough info to help him decide on what he wants to do. Anything else can be sent by PM.
 
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