Monday 20 August 2012

Charnizay's big weekend

For several weeks now poster boards have been adorning lamposts in a radius of about 30 to 40 km round Charnizay, proudly announcing  'Le 17e fete de l'Enduro' and 'Tri Yann' in concert.
poster in Chatillon-sur-Indre
The 'Ronde des Palets', named after the 'Palet de Gargantua' [dolmen] in our commune, is an annually returning endurance event for off-road [scramble] motorbikes. It is always held on a Friday/Saturday around the middle of August.

This year it was held on Friday and Saturday. There is always an evening event on the Friday, but the main attraction is the endurance challenge on Saturday. From 10:00 to 19:00 the off-road bikes roar around a challenging 50km course, which is set out in the fields and woods around Charnizay; it changes every year. If you want a close-up of the terrain they have to conquer have a look at the video footage on the official website here. It is not for the fainthearted!
Ronde des Palets 2011: you can just see the quarry they had to tackle beside the road to Loches**
Sitting outside on Friday night at the start of the 'canicule' [heatwave] we saw the sweeping headlights raking the other side of the valley and heard the roar of the bikes taking part. The noise came across clearly in the still air.

On Saturday we were out most of the day having a look at some historical sights. With the temperature hitting 40C this wasn't as mad as it sounds as driving was a positive pleasure with air conditioning in the car. We don't have it in the house as it's not worth it for the few very hot days we get each year. We spared a thought for the competitors in the bike race encased in their leathers, safety padding and helmets. As we came home we could see that they were putting the finishing touches to the stage they'd built on the football pitch for the evening's gig.

At nine pm it was still stinkingly hot, but we settled down outside on the terrace with a chilled bottle of sparking Touraine and got ready to enjoy the gig which was about to unfold. 'Tri Yann' [Breton for three Johns] are a Celtic/Breton folk-rock band from Nantes, Brittany. They are quite well-known in France and about a week or two earlier the TV station France 3 had shown a live concert recorded at Lorient last year. They sing in French and Breton. The best way to describe them is as a mix of: Fairport Convention, Runrig and Seth Lakeman, with the odd whiff of Jethro Tull.
terrace at 10pm: clear evening sky, no wind and hot!
There wasn't a breath of wind so we were able to hear everything perfectly. The band played an excellent two hr set. It isn't often that you can sit outside your own house and listen to a good live gig!

** as always you can click on the photos to enlarge them.


the fly in the web said...

I like Tri Yann...but I reckon that you found the best way to enjoy the concert, out of the crowd with a cool glass to hand.

Those motorcyclists must have been on fire in more ways than one doing the circuit in that heatwave.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
For our part, we should have settled very happily for sitting on the terrace with a glass or two of sparkling wine. Entertainment enough!

We will be away from the computer for some days but will return anon!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - we thought so. At 10pm it was still well above 30C!
Sadly they didn't play 'Ye Jacobites by name'; which is in their repetoire and, as Niall pointed out would have a decidedly surreal experience :-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - warm summer evenings and chilled sparkling wine are always a perfect combination :-)

Enjoy your 'computer break'.

Tim said...

T'was bonny! And I think the early Runrig tones were definately there.
We bought the double CD and DVD album... and it does have "Ye Jacobites" on it both on one of the CDs and as a track on the video DVD.
I am, in fact, about to put the two CDs onto the iPod and will file them with all the Runrig albums!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Tim - we checked Tri Yann out on Deezer before the gig and listened to their version of 'Ye Jacobites...'

Please sir: may we borrow your Runrig 'The Cutter and the Clan' as we only have it on vinyl? [We have the 'Once in a lifetime' live CD if you're interested]

Tim said...

You can borrow "Cutter and the Clan" with pleasure.
I've everything from "Play Gaelic" to "Mara"... including "Once in a Lifetime"... have you got anything after "Mara"?

Perpetua said...

Your Saturday sounds like a great way to spend an exceedingly hot day. Your terrace was finished just in time.

I always think motorcyclists in full gear look as though they must be sweltering, but in this weather....Phew! Am I the only blogger never to have heard of Tri Yann, says she, hanging her head in shame. :-)

ladybird said...

What a grand way to spend the evening! Your new terrace looks really stunning!!!!
@Perpetua, Don't worry, here's another blogger who has never heard of Tri Yann, but I am about to discover them, because I'm going to google them and listen to their music as soon as I've finished typing this comment :)! Martine

GaynorB said...

Sounds like an excellent (and enjoyable) way of dealing with the canicule. You could describe it as a 'cool' way.... sorry! ;o)

I hoping today is even cooler.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - we'll let you into a secret ... neither had we until a large banner appeared above our village butcher and we went on to the 'net to find out.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Martine - it was a lovely evening. With this weather the terrace is getting some serious traffic :-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - LOL well it was marginally cool! [the bopping on the terrace to the faster numbers less so ;-)]

LindyLouMac said...

It was probably sensible to be out during the day to avoid listening to the roar of motorbikes all day. A perfect end to the day though :)

Pollygarter said...

I thought the gig was incredible from start to finish. The support band "Uccy" weren't bad, the beer tent was well supplied, the biggest queue was for the food (the chips didn't seem to go down well though). We took our own chairs, food and water supply! The audience was a good mix of aging hippies and young people, though some of the latter got stuck in to the beer tent and stayed there all night. Given that it's actually their 41st anniversary this year, and the temperature, Tri Yann looked like they could have gone on all night.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@pauline - pity they didn't..they were replaced by house/dance music 'til the small hrs. Thankfully at a much lower decibel level as it probably came from the chapiteau over the river.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@LindyLou - it certainly helped make the decision to go out for the day :-)

Jean said...

It sounds like a fantastic event, wish we could have been there.

We missed out on the heatwave that some parts of the UK had last weekend and today it has been cool and wet. Consequently that view of your terrace with the chairs, the candles and the lights, knowing you could sit out until late in the warmth, is more than extremely inviting !!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jean - temperatures although lower are still well into the 30's. Have just come in and it is still 27C out there now [22:25]

Christmas-etc... said...

So nice of you to think about how hot the guys were in their motorbike equipment... that's really thoughtful considering how hot it was just for you!
I posted about the St. Nicholas church in Tavant just now... thanks so much for the use of your photos...and for making it known to me! I linked back to you!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Ann - nice to hear from you :-) Those guys will have melted and suspect they will have lost huge amounts of fluids during the day. As far as we know though all went well and everyone stayed hydrated.

Thanks for linking back :-)