Experiencing the Bullfight in Socos!
While living and working in Ayacucho, we decided it was time to explore the small rural village of Socos, Peru, high up in the Andes Mountains with an elevation of 11,200 feet above sea level to be exact. At this point we had spent a decent amount of time in the hustle and bustle of the urban center of Ayacucho and we wanted to be surrounded by mountainous countryside with less motor vehicles and motorcycles so we went to visit the small and remote village of Socos!
It was a treat to say the least! The long journey in the back of a truck with people and animals and really anything that could fit back there was an experience in of itself. We thought when we arrived it was going to be a low key experience, but Socos was having a bullfight in the village so the village was packed with people who were there to see the fight and have a good time at the festival! Now, you have to remember, this is not like the bull fights that occur in Spain where
they actually kill the bulls. In Peru and at this bullfight, they were just playing with the bull, but they did not kill it. The matador had his red cape to entice the bull to attack and after each session the matador spent with the bull, they also had multiple clowns to entertain the crowd! They were hilarious to watch while they were antagonizing the bulls and running away from them. Some of the clowns didn’t run fast enough and had a run in with the bull’s horns, but they were prepared and had lots of padding on their rear ends!
At one point during the bullfight, some people in the crowd were agitating the bull and the bull actually jumped over the fairly high wall and started stampeding towards the people. It was amazing to see so many people quickly jump to their feet and start running away from the bull as fast as they could. Luckily no one got hurt as the clowns were quick to bring the bull’s attention back to them and away from the people!
The village of Socos was very small, but nice and we enjoyed spending some time in the remote hillsides of the Andes Mountains. While we were there, we didn’t hear any Spanish as everyone there was speaking in Quechua. That’s to be expected as it is such a rural area so there is less need to speak Spanish as the native language for the majority of people in the province of Huamanga in the region of Ayacucho is Quechua! I wasn’t in Socos or Ayacucho long enough to learn a lot of Quechua, but I did learn some words and phrases that I quickly forgot.
The people of Socos were so friendly and welcoming and wanted us to have just as much fun as they were having. I will never forgot my enjoyable time there, laughing with the people along with watching my first bullfight! It was a once in a lifetime experience that I won’t forget!