Gore-y Travel: Running With the Bulls

July 8, 2008

Oh, adventure travel. It sounds so exotic, so thrilling, so romantic to say you climbed high peaks in Austria or swam with sharks in the Maldives or went heli-hiking on a glacier in New Zealand. But can it go too far?

The annual Running With the Bulls is on in Pamplona, Spain right now. One man has died (although from falling off a wall, not from being attacked by a raging quadriped) and other injuries have included a collapsed lung, a ruptured spleen and broken ribs. And those injuries all happened to the same person.

I like the idea of trying something new. I like to be a little daring. But that usually translates to dancing on a table in the hostel bar, or going swimming with just an SPF 30 instead of my SPF 90. I don’t mind taking risks, like following a tour guide down a long, slippery ravine that could end with scrapes and bruises, but probably not with being hurled to my death.

Letting large, wild animals with no social skills and no sense of remorse chase after me though just sounds like the perfect way to put my travel insurance to the test. So why do so many people do it? At best, you’ll get to feel like you’ve escaped certain death. At worst, the broken bones you wind up with will completely ruin the rest of your holiday and leave you with some hideous scars.

So if you’re going to run off to Spain for adventure, go for the safer event: The Tomatina.

Held in Bunol, Spain on August 27, 2008, the Tomatina is the world’s largest food fight. Don’t bother dressing to impress, because within a few seconds of the hour-long event you’ll be covered in tomato juice, pulp, and goop. 

Get your student Eurail Pass from Travel CUTS and plan on some messy, but not deadly, fun.

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