Course Camarguaise, L’Encierro de Noves, Noves
Tuesday, 02 September 2008
15:30 to 18:30
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If you've never been to a bullfight, make sure you check out the 'Course Camargauise' in Noves! Fantastic three hours of entertainment, with 6 bulls and around 8 fighters.
Discuss this event right here:
Ever since I got into Hemmingway, I’ve always wanted to drink more absinthe, do more fishing, and go to a bullfight. On my recent trip to Provence, I got the chance to sort the latter out.
We were trundling along the road from Cabannes to St. Remy, which goes round the non-descript village of Noves. When traversing the town centre, we noticed a lot of cars parked around a stadium-type structure, which could have been a flapping track in the UK, were it not for the lack of flat caps and drizzle. To my amazement, there was a lorry parked outside with a ramp down leading into the arena, and I began to realise that we’d accidently stumbled across a bullfight!
Well, this 'course camarguaise’ was just about to start, and after slightly struggling to find the ticket sales windows (about 3×3cm big - no bull would get through them), I practically sprinted through the gates and strove to get a decent vantage point.
The provencal-style game is not at all like the Spanish you might be fearing. A bull will be let into the arena, and a team of 8 tracking-sporting blokes of varying fitness will attempt to run past it, get chased, and try to prise a piece of string from around its horns without getting killed. They inevitably have to perform a death-defying leap out of the stadium towards the crowd with the bull in close pursuit, and indeed, it doesn’t always stop there!
One particular beast was a little more feisty than the others and proceeded to jump out after one of the blokes, and nearly gored him through the back. I spoke to some of the other spectators there who told me they’d witnessed the very same last year, and the guy had died. So, it’s not without its risks. Still - at 2€ for each ring off the horns - rich rewards!
A cracking afternoon out - I will remember this for years to come.