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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bovine Adventure!

It wasn't on a whim because I called and made reservations but it was still definitely an exciting sort of spontaneous adventure! Bullfighting...we haven't been to a bullfight since we lived in Portugal nearly 30 years ago. The bullfights in the Azores were mostly held in the streets during the local festivals and we loved going! In the springtime there would be one every weekend in the different little villages. Only once did we attend a bullfight in a ring when MiRVs parents came to visit. It was a much different feel. But lots of interesting for sure! This was NO different!

The Portuguese "bullfights" in the streets were more like a running of the bulls festival, where the local young men dressed in white shirts would taunt the bull as he was held in check with a rope around his neck. I think it was more dangerous to those participating than to the bull.He was not killed. In the fight we saw in the bullring there was a matador and he poked, okay stabbed, javelins into the bull. It taunted the bull. In Portugal the bull is not killed in front of the audience or at least they weren't when we attended. Sometimes even in Spain where the bull is often killed sometimes he is not depending on the severity of his injuries he may be turned out to pasture, used later for breeding or he may be butchered.

Anyway back to our adventure, we drove out to a remote 60 acre South Texas ranch where a man had a dream. He built it and they come. It's a Winter Texan destination on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. We were amazed, intrigued and entertained. There is seating for over 1000 people so it's not a rinky dink deal and a lot of the seats were filled. Since it was the first fight of the season and only two matadors the gentleman next to us said the crowd would be less for that reason. I'm okay with not having a big crowd cause I don't like crowds! Gates opened at 1:00 p.m. with lots to see and do until the big event at 4 p.m. There was a BBQ stand for food and we partook, it was certainly yummy! The pulled pork was delicious but the soft taco was the best and the homemade pico to go on top was ohmygoodness good! We ate our share for sure!

We had excellent sunny ring side seats!

The entertainment was phenomenal with dancing Spanish horses and a top female mariachi vocalist who really wowed the crowd before the actual bullfight. Then it was time for the big event. It was very exciting and educational since the host and commentator spoke in English. When we went to the one in Portugal we had a bit of trouble taking it all in since it was a foreign favorite was Matador Montalvo from Monterrey Mexico. He was good! The other Matador did well but Montalvo entertained each time he interacted with the bull! He was not flawless but persistent and I liked that! The helpers were good too and it was fun to watch and cheer Ole' and Bravo. The judge can be swayed by the crowd cheering so we were always hollering Ole'! We did not have flowers to throw but many did and also they threw wine flask out to the fighters as a sign of appreciation of their efforts. Very entertaining!

The weather was cool but with the beautiful sunshine it was a perfect day, nice breeze and fresh country air. We should sleep well tonight! And just to let you know the four bulls used in today's fights will not be killed, but they will never be used in a bullfight again either, it's a one shot deal. They will be sent to travel on the rodeo circuit. Goodnight and Ole!


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