Thursday, 9 July 2015

Bulls and beaches.

Ever heard of a Toro Piscine? No, I didn't think so. Now, if you just google translated that, it should've come up with something along the lines of "Bull Swiming Pool", and you're probably really confused right now, so let me explain.

A very big tradition in the South of France, is the Toro Piscine; it involves sitting in an arena with a bull in the centre ring of it; all you do is sit back and watch brave volunteers play some games with it such as football among others. One of the most popular games is bringing out a bull that has tiny little bits of paper attached to its horns, and the aim of the game is for the volunteers to get as close as they dare to the bull in order to take the tickets off, and each one represents a prize. Now let me point out that Toro Piscines use baby bulls, their horns are covered with a tennis ball to eliminate all danger, and the bulls are very well cared for and do not get hurt at all, all they get is a little run around, and most of them quite enjoy it because they're essentially playing a few games!
This event is open to people of all ages, so weather your child is 4 years old or 30, you should definitely have the experience.

Another big tradition is an Abrivado, this is a little more scary (that's an understatement, it traumatised me). It involves standing in the street, behind (or in front, depending on if you wish to die or not) of a "protective gate" (it's not a protective gate, it's a pathetic bit of metal that passes as a gate, but quite frankly a baby could push it over with its little finger) and you watch fully grown bulls (no tennis balls on the horns this time) run through the streets, being "chased" by men on horses. Sounds terrifying doesn't it? Yet a little intriguing...
I personally refuse to go to these events because it scares the hell out of me, but I know loads of people who really enjoy them, including my brother. There's actually one coming up in a few weeks that I might attempt going to, depends if there's somewhere I can hide.

It's definitely a must-do because I guarantee you've never seen anything like it.

Now, one of the best places for these events is Portiragnes-Plage seeing as the town has its very own bull arena which often organises Toro Piscines. There are also a lot of little streets, perfect for the Abrivado. The town itself is gorgeous and is so close to the beach, so you can make a day of it and have a meal in one of the restaurants after lounging on the sand for the day before heading on over to the arena.

If you're interested, and how can you not be after reading all of that, then click HERE to have a look at the properties we have in Portiragnes!