On offer at next Sunday’s Randonnée des Roses at Cortambert is a choice of five circuits of 7km, 9km, 13km, 17km and 25km. Chris wanted to check out the 9km walk as he had made a few changes since we last walked it.
So off we set from Cortambert to Varanges and over to Blanot. It was quite tough going as you have to go over the hill into the next valley and back again. But the uphill slog was worth it as we enjoyed spectacular panoramas along the way. I’ll let the photos tell the story.
Our group of walkers today
Entering Blanot past the old Priory.
A halt at the fountain and lavoir in Blanot
The hardest part was the ascent from Blanot up to the Faitral
- But it was worth it for the lovely views from the top
Further information about the Randonnée des Roses can be found on www.cortambert.eu/rando.php
Yesterday I happened to be walking past the Mairie at Cormatin with a pot of bright green paint. I was idly looking at the election posters when a chap shouted down the street ‘Make sure you put that on the Front National’.
There’s a real fear that the FN have the upper hand in these elections. 8 out of 9 polls show they are ahead. This is incredible seeing they were barely tolerated until recently. But Mr Hollande’s popularity is at a record low and the FN is benefitting from the rising tide of Euroscepticism. Marine Le Pen promises to get France out of the euro and end diktats from Brussels.
Voting in Cortambert
So we’ll wait and see. Although it has been forecast that Marine Le Pen will win it will still be a shock. Maybe all the foreigners will be thrown out and sent back to whence they came. We’d better brush up on our French and become citizens!
We are not really in a part of the world noted for its steam trains, so opportunities to see one are few and far between. But we heard a steam train was due to run from Lyon to Le Creusot this morning. So, on a trip to buy timber and nails at BricoDepot for our new deck, we timed it nicely to be sitting by the railway track south of Mâcon waiting to for the train to pass by. We were just discussing why there are so few accidental deaths on the railways here, for we were parked only a few feet from the track with no barrier, when WHAM! We didn’t expect it so early and didn’t see it coming. It must have passed at 100km/hr, so close, and we were left with lungs full of smoke and cinders.
So I got a photo like this –
When it should have looked like this -
The engine is the Mistral 241P17, one of the fastest steam locomotives ever built. It was made between 1947 and 1949 and has clocked up 1,741,865 km. It was out of action for a few years recently when its boiler blew up but it is running again on trips out of Le Creusot to Lyon, Valence, Grenoble and Switzerland.
It doesn’t really matter that we missed the train this morning as we are booked on the 241P17, aka the Savoie Vapeur Express, to Aix-les-Bains in August. At 64€90 it actually works out cheaper than going on a regular train and we get the afternoon to look round Aix-les-Bains before our return. For more information see www.train-vapeur.fr.
It has been one of those weekends when there is such a lot going on that I could write several blogs. For the third year running Cluny has held the women’s horseball championships. This is a mixture of basketball and rugby on horseback, a great spectator sport with lots of action and goals coming thick and fast. There has also been horse racing at the hippodrome. How often do you get two big horse events in one small town?
For those not interested in horses (I suppose there might be some) there was the Habitat show, the Art de vivre & Bien-être, with talks about natural health and beauty. Having already sufficient of the latter and not wanting any ideas which would result in our spending even more money on the house we managed to give this show a wide berth.
Umpires have the stripy tops, the coaches jump up and down and shout
So Cluny has been buzzing with thousands of people this weekend. It’s very good for the economy as even if the action is at the Equivallée people wander into town for lunch and look round the shops. It’s good for the B&B and gite owners too. This time last year when the horseball competitions were held in Cluny it was estimated that the riders and spectators spent 200,000€. On average spectators spent 34€, mostly on food, and the participants spent 215€.
And you thought this blog was going to be all about horseball.