|poster in Chatillon-sur-Indre|
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**|
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!|
** as always you can click on the photos to enlarge them.