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12 June 2012

A Randonné at Jalogny

Tuesday, June 12
I seem to be talking about rain all the time, but that is unfortunately what seems to happen at the moment.   A short burst of nice weather and then continual downpours.   So much work needs to be done outside in the courtyard and the garden, but I am trapped indoors at the moment.  The vine on the front of the house and in the garden is laden with young grapes, it desperately needs to be tied up and trimmed.  Hope I get a break to do it tomorrow before we set off on another trip on Thursday.  

Friends from Sydney arrived on Friday and we had a beautiful dinner at Château d’Igé, to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  We started with an aperitif in the refectory, a walk in the garden, then dinner in a round room inside a corner tower, surrounded by stone walls with tapestries.  It was as though we had a small private room, but could see what was happening in the various dining rooms through an archway.
The meal was gorgeous, finishing of course with a grand marnier soufflé, our favourite.

On Saturday, we went into Cluny for market day, and were fascinated to watch the female national finals of “horse ball”.  A mixture between basket ball and rugby, but on horseback.  The riding skills were marvelous, and we watched two fiercely competitive games.   Very dangerous I would imagine.  It consists of two competing teams of 6 players, but only four from each team play at a time.   The riders have to lean down and pick the ball up off the ground, while keeping their feet in the stirrups - a fast game as the horses thunder from one end of the field to another. A rider tries to score a goal by throwing the ball through a net basket, while riding fast and not holding the reins.  I noticed on the internet it was stated that at one time the game was banned in Argentina because of the number of fatalities of the riders!

Sunday we went to the nearby village of Jalogny to take part in a randonné, or country walk.  We could choose 8, 13, 18 or 24 kms.  Needless to say we chose 8kms.  It was a wonderful walk, well marked even though we were given good maps. At the half-way point, we went to a farm house and joined other walkers for a refreshment stop.  We were offered terrine, cheese and bread and jam with wine or acacia or elderberry syrup.   All well planned, and very enjoyable walking up hill and down dale across beautiful countryside and amongst goat farms, surrounded by fields of poppies, cornflowers and other wildflowers. 

Yesterday, Monday, I picked our first raspberries.  Unfortunately the rain I fear will ruin whatever is left and developing.

Our trip north on Thursday is taking shape.  We hope to set off early on Thursday morning and head north-west via Moulins and Nevers to Rambouillet, it should take about two and a half hours.  We plan to spend the afternoon at Rambouillet, perhaps look at the castle and walk around the town and will stay in a hotel nearby for that night.  Friday, we will set off for Normandy and will wander around Normandy for a few days, taking in the beaches where D Day happened, eating seafood and hopefully will take time to visit Bayreux to see the famous tapestry.  Monday will see us going south again to Brittany, where we will be visiting cousins and an aunt, picking up my French spinning wheel and some black fleece.   Maria wants me to give a demonstration of spinning to some of her friends!  Monday and Tuesday night we will spend in a B&B near Maria, then Wednesday set off for home across France and make on overnight stop to rest somewhere.

When we come back we are expecting several groups of visitors throughout July. 

1 comment :

Dianne said...

Lovely photos in this post, Jean. So sorry you are having so much rain! Wish I could see the spinning wheel demonstration...