Our Life in Burgundy

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June 5, 2017

Randonnée des Roses 2017

Filed under: Events,Places,Weather — Tags: , — Mary @ 17:20



We’d been worrying about the weather after last week’s storms and heavy showers but yesterday was cool with plenty of sunshine in the afternoon, soft underfoot but not muddy. The perfect day for the Cortambert randonnée.

The organisation was like a well oiled machine. Pascale has an excellent team and the many compliments of the walkers were well deserved. Chris was in charge of devising the four circuits of 8km, 13km, 17km and 24km. For everyone there was a drinks station en route and further refreshments once back at the foyer. For the longer walks there was a ravitaillement at Culey (8km) and another at Donzy (16km).

Here are a few photos of the day -

Marie Antoinette and Jean-Louis on registration

Raymond & Annie and the family picnicking at the point d’eau

At Donzy the 24km walkers enjoy a welcome rest with Georges, Claire and Dominique

Back at the foyer rural Anne Marie was recording the finish times

Patrick was pouring out the coffee and wine

Pascale was in charge of refreshments

Simone was making gaufres by the dozen

As the walkers were finishing it was time to go out to collect the direction markers

A chance to enjoy the lovely viewslooking back to Mont Saint Romain

And finally a debriefing…Burgundy style

Everybody enjoyed the randonnée, both walkers and organisers. At a total of 245 we were well pleased with the number of walkers, particularly as it is yet another long holiday weekend when people are away.

Chris has now started to prepare for the next event, the soapbox cart rally in July. Watch this space!

May 7, 2017

Chansons Québécoise

The highlight of a rather dreary weekend of rain was the concert last night given by Richard Trépanier, a singer-songwriter from Quebec. It was organised by the Amis du Collectif, the group of neighbouring foyer ruraux, and the Bourgogne Québec Association with Georges Pierre its president.

Richard Trépanier’s own songs included ’Le Cri de la Terre’ which became the anthem for the Fondation Québécoise en Environement. But he also has a vast repertoire of songs, including French, British and American favourites. What impressed me most was Richard’s engaging personality. Before the concert he chatted with people as they assembled in the hall and, remembering the faces and names and snippets of information, he conversed with the audience between songs and created a wonderful rapport. Everybody joined in the French songs of the 60s, even I knew  Joe Dassin’s Les Champs-Elysées. Chris commented that all these years listening to Nostalgia on the radio had not been in vain. Luckily half of the Cant’Azé choir were there to drown us out.


Pascale and Georges join in with Richard

Afterwards, in true Burgundy style, we sat down to a meal together. Our end of the table enjoyed a bit of nostalgia of their own, discovering family friends and grandparents in common and describing life in Varanges when they were young. We’ve been intrigued lately by how many of the people here are related. Not surprising really as even though people may go away to Paris or Lyon to work they are likely to inherit the family house and retire here. Being a close knit community parcels of land and houses belong to branches of the same family so most of our neighbours are related in some way. It must have been a busy place at one time as the farm at Varanges employed about a hundred workers who all lived locally. There was even a cafe. Everybody agrees that now, without the pigfarm, the air these days is a great deal sweeter.


March 5, 2017

The Trail du Mont Saint Romain – two weeks to go

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , — Mary @ 16:33


It’s two weeks before the long awaited Trail de Mont Saint Romain takes place, and this morning our Cortambert runners and their friends tried out the 11km and the 17km courses.

Photos Chris Wicks. More photos on the facebook page of Trail du Mont Saint Romain


Patrick, Guy and Jean-Louis lead off from the Foyer Rural in Cortambert



They pass through Varanges before heading uphill towards Les Quatre Vents


The group parts company. After Quatre Vents the 11km course follows the Faîtral while the 17 km course loops to include Blanot and Vivier

Mont Saint Romain in the background


The steepest part of the 17km run is the hill up from Vivier. You can feel the pain!

and the steep descents on stony paths need plenty of courage

The runners were lucky to complete the course before the miserable weather set in. Hopefully the weather will be dry on 19th March.  Details of the trail are on www.trail-mont-saint-romain.fr. You can subscribe online or on the morning of the run. There’ll be prizes, good company and a hearty meal afterwards..


October 18, 2016

The Trail du Mont Saint-Romain – March 2017

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 20:48


Mont Saint-Romain

Preparations are in full swing for a new event to be held on 19th March 2017. It’s a running race organised by the foyer rural of Cortambert with the neighbouring communes of Bray, Blanot & Chissey (BBC) and Donzy le Pertuis (les Amis Donzyrons).

The Trail du Mont Saint-Romain offers a choice of three circuits of 11km, 17km and 29km, all beginning in Cortambert. The 29 km circuit will pass through all five communes to ascend Mont Saint-Romain, with an overall climb of 1,000m.

Climbing Mont Saint-Romain – it’s steeper than it looks on the photo!

Chris is on the organising committee and this afternoon we went to try out the part of the 29km circuit that ascends Mont Saint-Romain. Chris had used this path on a previous randonnée but he wanted to make sure it was still passable. It’s a lovely path between the trees but very steep and stony. It will sort the men out from the boys and we expect no complaints that the routes are too easy.


A tree has fallen over the path

We found only a few places impeded by brambles, but this tree had fallen right over the path. Chris will head up in the spring with his chainsaw and clear it out of the way. Otherwise the path was clear. In March the trees will be bare of leaves affording good views of the countryside.

From the top of Mont Saint-Romain

Further information is on the site trail-mont-saint-romain.fr along with the logos of the sponsors. It is hoped that at least 200 runners will subscribe, which should make for a spectacular start from Cortambert. Volunteers will be required to serve the refreshments and marshall the courses.When the runners return to Cortambert there will be a meal ready for them of soupe paysanne, local cheeses and desserts régionaux.

So get ready for a 10 o’clock start on Sunday 19th March. If you can’t run there are plenty of other ways you can take part. Help make this new venture a success!

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