For many it is back to the old grind after Christmas vacation

Life returns to normal today in the Central Valley as vacationers return to work, and traffic jams reappear.

The festival at Zapote concluded Sunday, and the bulls are headed back to pasture.

License restrictions resume today with owners of vehicles with plates ending in 1 or 2 subject to fines if they venture downtown.

There is a heavy police presence because officers are seeking those who have not paid their marchamo or road tax.

They have been active since the first of the year snagging hundreds with 47,000-colons traffic tickets. That’s about $96.

The death toll continued to climb over the weekend. There have been at least 10 murders since New Year’s Eve, and there were additional traffic deaths to add to those announced Thursday. At that time the Judicial Investigating Organization said there were 17 dead from all causes.

A pedestrian died near Nicoya, and a motorcyclist died in Heredia late Saturday night, said judicial agents.

The Costa Rican bull fights at Zapote resulted in more than 100 injured, and some were hospitalized. This is the spectacle where dozens of young men and women enter the ring with a fighting bull. The televised events had been aired since Christmas day.

The twice-a-day bull fights draw many people who pay admission to enter the grandstands at the rondel or ring at the fairgrounds, and the television rights are sold internationally.

Promoters continue to search for ways to please the crowd.  Last week an adult midget played bullfighter to a 100-kilo young bull. The man was knocked silly several times, and the crowd cheered.

The attraction Sunday appeared to approach suicide. A dozen young men were asked to stand in a ring inscribed on the rondel dirt. The diameter was about 20 feet. Those who could remain in the ring for seven minutes collected 300,000 colons each, more than $600. There were five successful finishers.

Some left the ring to avoid being impaled on the horns of a bull. In one case, a bull forcibly removed one contestant, although the man was able to limp from the ring.

For much of the day Channel 7 Teletica showed clips of individuals being battered, thrown or stomped by bulls.

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