Dancing with El Tamarindo

2006 > Costa Rica

Wanna dance with “El Tamarindo” too?

me int he ring
Fool Number Uno
El Tamarindo in action
It’s time to dance in Via Real, a sleepy little town in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. It’s time to dance and there is not a woman on the dance floor. Nope, its just men, fools all, including me. We are here, on this dirt dance floor awaiting our common dance partner – toro “El Tamarindo”.

El Tamarindo is one thousand pounds of bull and after tossing his rider quick-like, he’s ready to waltz with us, the fools in the bull ring with him. It’s Via Real’s spring festival, and taking a cue from Pamplona, the hardy types get in the ring to tempt El Tamarindo before the cowboys lead him away.

With a Pamplona bull run behind me, I enter the ring with the rank amateurs to stare down this bull man to man. Laughing at the locals who run when the bull even looks their way, I stand my ground, unmoving until the bull fixates on me.

We look at each other for a long, Spaghetti Western second. And then the bull charges.

Relying on my quick reflexes and yoga-inspired flexibilities I dash to the right and bare feet slipping on sand, I fall right in front of the bull. Curled into a ball, feet to the bull, I feel its head hit my ass, the horns around each side of my waist. The shove is not gentle, but I feel no great pain.

Then, in a dash of hooves that come close but do not strike, El Tamarindo is gone and I am up and smiling. The crowd cheers, I bow, and then the pain comes in a wave. Looking down, my feet are bloody, scraped raw by the gravel and now mixing blood with dust and bull.

Do I leave the ring and go look for first aid? Nope, I stay and dance again. This time with a twisted horn bull who does not charge us. And then it’s over. Time for me to get a good wound cleaning by the Red Cross, and be sent on my way with Spiderman Band-Aids.

Till next year’s dance with El Tamarindo in Via Real.

5 Comments on “Dancing with El Tamarindo

  1. Ahhh…to think I was there the first time this was attempted, I was there, and to my delight at the time, there were no injuries to speak of…..GOOD FOR YOU!!!

    Bravo, Wayan Vortex!!!! You have conquered yet another wild beast!!! Have fun in Costa!!

  2. Hey you crazy ass Gringo..You’re one up on me you nut case. Although I just fed about 60 big fish recently with only 1 minor incident.

  3. Bravo, Wayan! You didn’t need the rolled newspapers of Spain to smack El Toro into action! Ole! Surfing will cure those raw feet.

  4. HEY!!!!!

    Nice to see you are doing well after the bull experience….as for me i am in guangzhou after a trip to japan…well take care of yourself

    see ya!!!!!