Saturday, 9 July 2011

Pamplona, The Drifters & Hemingway

Photo © Eloy Alonso-Reuters/Courtesy In Focus
The Atlantic magazine's wonderful photo blog In Focus is featuring 36 large photographs of The Running of The Bulls during the Festival of San Fermin which attracts thousands of visitors to Pamplona, Spain. Over the course of nine days, the festival hosts bullfights, a carnival, fireworks, and of course, the encierro, or "running of the bulls."

"I was so buzzed up by the adrenaline rush I got by reading of the running to evade the bulls, that I vowed to participate..."

I first heard of the Running of The Bulls through books. Like many of my generation, I came across it while in my late teens reading Hemmingway's The Sun Also Rises. I also recall it described in James Michener's The Drifters, an epic novel about youths who drift to Torremolinos, Pamplona, Southern Africa, Morroco, and Portugal. I was so buzzed up by the adrenaline rush I got by reading of the running to evade the bulls that I vowed to participate...much to the disbelief of my friends and peers in Cairo, who probably looked at each other behind my back and rolled their eyes (or whatever the expression was at that time).

Ah, well. I never ran in Pamplona...and never will.

For those interested, between 200 and 300 people are injured during the run every year, although most of these injuries are contusions.

I think the above photograph is remarkable...it was probably photographed using remote triggers,  strobe slaves and empty soda bottles (see photograph #21).