Bull on the Beach

Thank you everyone for your kind words about things you like about my blog.  I just want to make sure my (non-family member) readers are enjoying what I have to say.  I am looking forward to another year of blogging.

If you are wondering why so many people are standing around here, it is to see the bull on the beach.
They even set up bleachers, which should indicate to everyone that this is a planned event, and not just some random bull.
In fact, this is so much of an event that there are street vendors selling balloons, and food too.  The food is pretty standard anytime a bull fight is involved.  Yes, you heard me right, a bull fight.
These are the same types of bull fights that we have on the streets here where the bull runs loose on a rope that is controlled by 4 men.  Then local people taunt the bull and show off their “manliness” by narrowly escaping a good trampling.  Well, if they are lucky, they will escape.  Often times, someone will get trampled, and I am sorry to say, but that is the stuff people love.  As long as the man walks away unharmed or lightly bruised, he is a temporary celebrity.  They actually have camera crews that film these things so at the end of the season they can make videos, similar to the Girls Gone Wild series, just with bull fights.

This beach bull fight was marking the end of the 10 day Praia Fest, which included the huge food festival I shared pictures of over the past few days.  As this was on the beach, people brought their boats up to the end of the swimming area and got a nice view from there.  There were also people actually watching from in the ocean.
As is usually, they had 4 bulls to run, and each was out for 30 minutes.  After the second bull, there is a 30 minute break.  Here is the first bull.
No he seems a little angry.
It was also a little dusty from the bull kicking up sand.  Most of the time the bull was just walking around and it was not too interesting, but in all, I saw 4 people go down in the sand, with the bull getting in a good trampling.  Only 1 time did the guy actually look hurt.  One guy was very lucky and the bull got twisted around some metal garbage cans, which made him stop just inches away from the man’s chest as he lay in the sand, obviously about to pee his pants.  It was a seriously close call.
All of the people on the beach will take off running as the bull heads in their direction, but some men and boys will go for the bull instead and try to chase it in circles.  Sometimes they put on a good show of skill, and other times it is a good show of trampling.
Here you can see those metal cans.  The were used as a barrier at times, and then as I said, the bull once wrapped his rope around them.
Overall, it was a pretty cool thing to watch as these bull fights are a very old tradition here and it is nice to have the chance to experience Azorean life (this is more specific to our island, I think, not all of the Azores).
At midnight, the fireworks were set up in Praia to signify the end of the festival.  I had a great view from my window.  We are not that far from the beach, but I still had to zoom in some on my camera to get the pictures to actually show the fireworks.
This one looks like a flower, doesn’t it?
Ah, the end of another great Praia Fest and yet another reason why I love living on this island.

Don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for some food goodies from the Azores and Portugal.  Thanks for reading, and here is to another year of blogging!

QUESTION:  What is your favorite beach/ocean activity?


Emily said...

I've never seen a bull fight, but it looks really intense! I don't know what I would do if the bull started running at me on the beach; I'm definitely not that brave.

My fave thing to do on the beach (in addition to swimming) is to build sand sculptures or to read a good book.

Unknown said...

I would have to say simply sitting on my butt and doing nothing :) with fabulous shades of course!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

This is CRAZY!!! I mean, can you imagine doing that?! I'm sure you can imagine more than I can, look how close you were! I can sort of understand the thrill, and how one might feel "manly" after doing this....but come on, risk death?! I don't think so. Would I watch it though? HEck yeah!

Ashley said...

Wow! I've never seen a bull on a beach - how crazy!

Lori said...

This is one of those things that always gives me a challenge because I respect the cultural practice, but still feel bad for the bull. Those are some beautiful pictures of the beach and surrounding landscape.

I am a do-nothing person on the beach. We head to the Caribbean every year and it is our chance to sit on our butts and catch up on reading. A lot of people say they like to relax on the beach, but then get anxious once there a while. Not us, it is a complete week of nothing. Ha, ha! Congrats on 1 year!

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