19 hour bus rides are not fun
02.07.2010 - 10.01.2012 24 °C
Day 3/4 – Novotel, London
A huge day ahead of us. A deglihtful breakfast to start the day again, and just as well. We packed gear for storage and made our way there. It was a smoother trip to Paddington with only half the luggage. Time was severely against us – we needed to get to the “Running of the Bulls” tour meeting spot at 14:00. We didn’t leave the storage till after 12.30.
As it turned out, we arrived in plenty of time at the meeting spot and even had time for a beer before boarding the bus. 19 hours later we had crossed the cliffs of Dover, driven through several French towns (and bought food in servos). We drove through Paris around 2am. It was so beautiful. All the hotels had their neon signs glowing atop the roofs.
The bus arrived a few hours later in Pamplona than expected. None the less we were happy to be off the bus and to stretch our legs. Even if it meant being in a campsite that was really hilly and over 40c.
Rows of tents were set up for the festival goers – 2 pax tents with dodgy air mattresses. Thankfully we have had experience camping…or glamping as it seemed compared to this. David didn’t mind the set up – I was ready to wave the white flag and leave. Stupidly, we tried to sleep in the tent during the day. Without an accurate temperature guage, I’d hazard a guess that it was blooming hot. Yes, that is a standardised unit of measurement in my books. Probably over 60c with no air flow. Hell. Surprisingly the nights were freezing cold, enough to wear thermals.
After a quick bite of Paella and a hotdog we got the shuttle into Pamps for a walking tour. The guide, Michelle, pointed out all the hot spots and viewing points for e with egg and potato.the festival. She also sorted us out with our ‘whites’ and got us a glass of Sangria.
We broke up after 6ish to do some shopping of our own. Decked out in white pants and white shirts, red scarfs (both from the government and buying them) we were set to go…until I realised I had no other suitable shoes than my $250 brooks which I wasn’t ready to farewell to Sangria, eggs and flour. See, the opening ceremony attracts all age people of all nationalitles. We were told to be prepared to be covered in liquids of all kinds. At the 11th hour I got a pair of shoes for E13
While wandering the streets of Pamplona we found amazing tapas bars. One particular one we went into had the most amazing tapas at the bar. You point to a particular one you want and the tender heated it for us. They consisted of little pieces of French sticks and various toppings. We ate some with egg and proscutto, mushroom and caramelised onion and some with egg and potato.
David and I walked the course that the bulls run and took our photo outside the holding pen. Little did we realise the course was mostly uphill! Spain is the 2nd most mountainous country in the EU and you can tell! The cobblestones amazed us and the little gutters. It’s a wonder more people don’t fall over and hurt themselves given the amount of drinking and partying the locals do in the streets.
The buildings are showing signs of sinking and looking weathered and unbalanced but it really adds to the charm. House owners adorned their balconies in red flowers and regional flags, showing commemorative spirit for San Fermin, the local saint, for whom the bull run is held for.