SWIRLING the cape like a whirling dervish, you could tell local hotelier Andy Chapell was having fun.
Jumping at the chance to attempt a classic bullfighting move at Ronda’s exciting new bull breeding estate Reservatauro, it didn’t matter that he looked more like a Teletubby attempting a new dance.
For it is the participation that makes this new venue such fun.
Whether a fan of bullfighting or not, visitors will enjoy seeing how well the fighting bulls live before being dispatched at four years of age.
Luxuriating in the grounds of this 200 hectare estate, they live off a mix of acorns and meal and have no shortage of space to roam.
Set up by Ronda bullfighter Rafael Tejeda and his wife Nuria, this ancient estate, known as a dehesa, is a fascinating place to visit.
Set in stunning oak woodland on the edge of the Sierra de las Nieves natural park, visitors have the chance to see first hand how the ancient art functions.
As well as breeding bulls, the estate also trains horses, in particular the giant Spanish shirehorses, who can stand the weight of any bull charge.
There is a trainee bullring and visitors are taken on a tour of the estate and given an explanation of how it all functions.
Most interesting of all is how the grandmother cows, known as Mala Fes, some as old as 22, are kept to socialise the young calves in early life.
And then there is the chance to pick up and handle the cape, as well as the sharp sword used to dispatch the bulls in the ring.
“I thought the trip was really worthwhile and think a lot of our punters would go – apart from the anti-bullfight ones of course,” explained Chapell, the boss of Molino del Santo, in Benaojan.
That is more the shame though, as there is no doubt, a visit to Reservatauro is likely to put the whole art in a very different light… and, dare I say it, convert people.
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