Top 10 Reasons Camp Lizarra Sucks:

                                                                                                             10. Loud music
                                                                                                             9. Loud Brits, Aussies & Kiwis
                                                                                                             8. Loud crappy music
                                                                                                             7. Drunk Brits, Aussies & Kiwis
                                                                                                             6. Drunk people urinating next to our tent at 4 a.m.
                                                                                                             5. Hard, uneven, rocky ground under tent
                                                                                                             4. Our torn, claustrophobic "two-man" tent (two midget men, maybe)
                                                                                                             3. Barely edible "continental breakfast" consisting of:
                                                                                                                         A. Cereal from a crate (granola or corn flakes)
                                                                                                                         B. A compressed sawdust bar trying to pass as a granola bar
                                                                                                                         C. Warm milk from a box
                                                                                                                         D. Tang-like orange drink tasting like Thera-Flu
                                                                                                                         E. Yeast-extract spread for bread
                                                                                                             2. 2.12-mile walk from city center bus depot
                                                                                                             1. Nearby smokestack emitting foul odor described by Mike simply as "rank."

Day 5: 7 a.m. Breakfast time.

On the road to Pamplona for opening day.

Beautiful Pamplona, 10:00 a.m. An old fortress city, Pamplona was said to have been founded by the Roman general, Pompey, best known for making the mistake of clashing with Julius Caesar and paying with his life.

While meandering through the streets checking out some of the local shops Mike geeked out when he discovered replica swords from Lord of the Rings.

We made our way to the town square with the festival opening still an hour and a half away.

"The things that happened could only have happened during a fiesta. Everything became quite unreal finally and it seemed as though nothing could have any consequences. It seemed out of place to think of consequences during the fiesta."
--Ernest Heminway, The Sun Also Rises

The growing crowd was quite a sight: soccer balls, beach balls and champagne corks/spray soaring through the air. And there was still well over an hour for people to arrive and squeeze in.

One of the tour workers explained that she once was in the middle of this crowd and at the opening rocket was lifted off her feet for a full fifteen minutes by the mass ebbing and flowing. Hyperbole, maybe, but the point was well taken.

To escape the massive crush of humanity we headed to the adjacent Plaza del Castillo and encountered a much younger crowd.

This group was warring amongst itself with flour, eggs, mustard, catsup and, yes, champagne.

It got wild.


We hid out with many others in a covered walkway. "Discretion is the better part of valor," said Falstaff. Word.

The aftermath.

Throw them in a vat of hot oil and you got fried Spaniards.

The streets of Pamplona were full of celebration... various forms.

You gotta feel for the street cleaning crews.

Looks like a frat house.

Plaza del Toros where the bulls will run tomorrow morning.

Another angle.

The Hemingway bar across the street from the bullfighting arena.

Incognito in front of the Hemingway bar. If they think I'm Italian they won't harm me for Bush's lies.

Later we ate at this restaurant.

Mike had the seafood paella.

Mike's food, up close and personal.

We cruised around Pamplona for the rest of the day and found a mini-carnival.

We couldn't resist.

While we were up there it started to rain. I hope the tent is OK.

Hi Mike.

Hi me.

We headed for a park and proceeded to park ourselves under the biggest tree we could find. I hope it isn't a lightning storm.

I don't think Mike cared.

While waiting for the bus to take us back to camp that night we inspected the tasty confections of Pamplona.

Mmmmmm, chocolate churros.

We made it back to camp around 9 p.m. and encountered a couple hundred drunk, wet and dirty Brits, Aussies and Kiwis continuing the party. This meant another 2:00 a.m. bedtime. This wouldn't normally bother me except for the fact that the bus to Pamplona and the running of the bulls departs at 5:30 a.m. *sigh* The adventure continues...