Saturday, October 1, 2016
Guadalajara Stingers and Las Ventas
Saturday, 1 October, 2016:
It was scheduled to be a busy day with my first practice with the Osos Rivas' feeder team in Gudalajara and then an evening with the Fiesta Brava at La Plaza Monumental de Las Ventas but first . . .
HUGE Huskies Win!
The game kicked off at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, Madrid time. By the time that I awakened it was over and the Huskies had their first big win of the 2016 campaign.
It's GREAT to be a Husky!
I opted to celebrate the win with a quick walk around the neighborhood with a desire for a small breakfast before the start of another busy day.
A Churreria just a few steps away
from the apartment
Tempting but no
I am trying to be good this time in Spain as I continue to do lots of walking while trying to avoid sweets.
Cafe con Leche and a Tortilla Española
Now that's a traditional start to any Spanish day!
At 10:00 a.m., I was picked up by Enrique Martín Alonso for the 40 minute drive to Guadalajara for my first contact with the Stingers.
Their mascot is a bee because Guadalajara is famous for the honey they produce.
Enrique dropped me off about half way to Guadalajara where I journeyed the rest of the way with the two leaders of the Stingers, Hector and Borja.
One name only like Messi and Ronaldo.
Stingers field in Guadalajara
Of course we had to wait for a youth soccer game to finish before we could practice.
After a good session of
Tackling Fundamental . . .
Some fun passing lines to leave them happy and wanting to return Tuesday night.
Back Shoulder Throw?
We had a good group at practice today and made progress.
The Tuesday and Thursday practices in Guadalajara go from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., so these will be late nights/early mornings by the time we return to Madrid.
Lunch in Alcala de Henares
with Hector and Borja
Tradition dictates that we go for a meal after every practice.
Who am I to argue with tradition?
Cocido Completo En
Puchero de Barrio
Hector ordered this delicious dish for me saying that it was a must do lunch for me in Alcala de Henares.
Who am I to argue with Hector?
Hector and Borja
Two of the good guys, we are going to have a good time with the Stingers!
Fun memory from the
Camino de Santiago
I was strong again.
After a typically long Spanish lunch, Hector drove Borja and me into Madrid.
Borja had a date with a señorita and I had one with six bulls.
Bullfight Bar near Las Ventas
Borja and I tried to get a cafe con leche at this packed bar but after 15 minutes of waiting we gave up.
Their restroom was a blessing though.
The Las Ventas Plaza de Toros
It is the most important arena in the bull fighting world but in my previous two visits here the bull fights had been lackluster.
I was hoping that that would change today.
Colorful Bull Fight Poster
Today's corrida would be a Mano a Mano affair with just two matadors fighting the customary six bulls. The usual practice is for three matadors to fight two bulls each.
The usual crowd was in attendance
Lots of Pageantry
I've been to Las Ventas'
bull fighting museum
I found it quite interesting a few years ago but I had no desire to see it today.
Lots of people in the hallways
I got to me seat in the Sol y Sombra
section early for the 5:30 p.m. start
Ticket prices vary based on if your seat is facing the Sun (cheapest) or completely in the shade (most expensive).
I opted for a medium priced billete in the Sol y Sombra section. This is the area starts off in the Sun but we had full shade by the end of the second bull.
Great architecture at Las Ventas
Las Ventas Selfie
The bucket hat helped stave off the searing Spanish Sun.
Lines drawn, Arena Packed
The bulls today were from the
Ganadería Puerto de San Lorenzo
They would be hard to fight because they seemed to suffer from A.D.D. or were just bored.
Although each fighter got tossed during the afternoon, with one needing to go to the arena's emergency room, I thought that they were a bit unaggressive overall.
Almost time to start
These piles of sand/dirt are there
to help clean up the blood after
Let the Pageantry Commence!
42 year old matador
26 year old matador
I think Díaz may be
a Trump supporter
Parade to start the night
Picadors on horseback
The men in red help them if the get into trouble.
These mules drag the bulls out of
the arena at the end of each fight
Easily the aficionados most
disliked men in the arena
Is my tie on straight?
We are all ready,
bring on the . . .
. . . the BULL!
Bandillero almost run over
Díaz with a nice pass
Do you guys need anything?
A water perhaps?
The men in green are the ones who quickly rake the arena and clean up the blood after each fight.
If the matador's sword thrust hits the lung and not the heart, there will be a ton of blood coming out of the bull's mouth and nostrils.
It happened on the first bull today.
Good Sword Thrust
649 Kilos equals a
1,430 lbs. bull!
Lining each other up
Garrido in Action
Garrido's first kill
Nice cape work
And some more
Make the bull chase the cape
not the matador
Díaz looking . . .
. . . good until . . .
. . . now
This . . .
. . . is . . .
. . . NOT GOOD!
This happened on Díaz' second bull and he would be tossed again a second time with this bull.
He was shaken but not gored.
Good work by Garrido with the muleta
Garrido really got hurt by his
He was carried off by his attendants to the infirmary, his face looking extremely pale but he did return to fight his third and final bull of the corrida.
Neither matador was awarded any prizes by the judges on the day but the crowd loved their fighting spirit as they both shook off being trampled by these large, magnificent beasts.
When I got back to the apartment, the combination of a large lunch, lots of time in the Sun and finally some residual Jet Lag put me to bed at a relatively early hour. Still, all in all . . .
It was a good day
in Spain today!