Estafeta…Adoquines de Oro

Tim Pinks is writing a monthly column for the Diario de Noticias on the San Fermin Escalera and this is his third article that he has kindly passed on to me in English, and once again, thank you Tim  Pinks for sharing your splendid article with us. We are already looking forward to your May. YFM!!

So…the fourth of the fourth is upon us, and the Fiesta-tsunami that is San Fermin is escalating upon us. It’s April now, (although here in London it’s more like winter…where is spring?!) and the long wait is nearly over, and the countdown is gathering pace, like a bull heading hell for leather up the Estafeta. And after the extraordinary Fiesta that Pamplona always delivers to us lucky people who get to go there every year, San Fermin is very much on my mind…

Once Upon A Time After Fiesta

Once Upon A Time After Fiesta, I returned home to London, (I’m talking about the late ‘80’s here, or very early 90’s) and back in my own bed after three weeks of San Sebastian, Pamplona, and San Sebastian again, I had the weirdest dream. But it was so real. So please forgive me if I for once talk about myself in this article rather than about you, the amazing people and wonderful city that is Pamplona, or other things fiesta related.

I was never a very good runner, but oh my goodness I had some moments. On that first night home sweet home I had a dream…

I was having the perfect run, (yes, proof it really was a dream!) but it was so real – and as I ran down Telefonos towards the tunnel, this bull that was running with me began to talk to me. (Yes, it really felt like it was running with me, and not the other way round.) I don’t remember if we taliked in English, Spanish, or Bullish, (Tauriñol) but we understood each other.

‘’Why do I have to do this?’’ he asked me, ‘’I don’t want to die, but I know it’s my destiny.’’

‘’I don’t know,’’ I replied, ‘’but things are just as they are.’’

‘’Can you save me?’’ asked the bull.

‘’No,’’ I said, ‘’but I wish I could. But I’m,only a guiri here, and I have no influence.’’ And we ran together across the sand.

‘’Adios,’’ said the bull to me. ‘’Goodbye, and good luck maestoro.’’ I replied.

Years and years later

Years and years later, decades later, and in a different millennium, I wrote a little tale, un cuento, about that bull and his band of brothers who were chosen to run, and fight, and die, in a magical city called Pamplona. Iruña. They have no choice about it, but us humans do. We are lucky, so phenomenally lucky, to be either foreigners who are able to experience a fiesta sin igual in an impecable city, or to be one of those who live there or who can visit. PML…Pamplona for the Majority of our Lives… How lucky we are.

In Pamplona, not only in July but at any time of the year, the magic becomes real and we can live our dreams. Sometimes I think Navarra could be re-named Nirvana. It’s that good…

A friend of mine, (everybody’s friend) Carmelo of the La Casa del Libro in the Boulevard of Woken Dreams that is the Estafeta often posts pictures of the city as he goes to work very early in the morning. And the streets, and especially Estafeta, seem to glisten like gold. Maybe it’s those aldoquines…they are golden in the rain and glistening in the sunshine and so very beautiful at any time of the year.

They say that ‘’if walls could talk.’’ Well, my goodness, if those cobbles could talk.

Maybe it’s the rain… The Casco Viejo of Iruña and the Estafeta is like that famous painting. ‘The Boulevard of Broken Dreams.’’ Except it is the most alive and living street I’ve ever walked on, danced in, and ran upon. Dreams are lived in Pamplona and I’ve lived them all. And there are still more to come… I hope.

Today is the fourth of the fourth, and the Fiesta of San Fermin is soon to be upon us. Paradise does exist on Earth, and it happens in Pamplona. What a sensational city, what a great people, and what a fantastic Fiesta.

!Viva San Fermin! Gora San Fermin! And I can’t wait and ya falta menos…