Hiking the Chemin de la Liberte 2015 travel blog

Petanque

Saint Girons and the River Salat

 


So here we are again on the fun bit of these journals, the actual travelling. We arrived here in Saint Girons mid-afternoon after a long days travelling (and I can feel it trying to catch up with me). I left home at 11pm on Sunday, arriving at Heathrow at 4am and then slowly meeting others in the group as they arrived (identifying other each by the bright pink Discover Adventure luggage tags on our bags.

The flight was a little interesting, firstly the push truck gave us a push away from the gate and then broke down. Not only did it break down, but it broke down while still attached to the plane! Then because of that we missed our departure slot and so there was a continued delay while our pilots had to renegotiate a slot with French air traffic control.

Eventually, after a 2 hour coach ride from Toulouse, we arrived in Saint Girons which has the impressive looking Pyrenean foothills as its backdrop. The town itself looks as if it has seen more prosperous days and could do with a lick of paint. In the centre of town there have been a group of men playing Petanque, and it really does have no relationship with the game I remember playing on numerous French campsites at all. The level of skill and accuracy involved is impressive, not only judging the pace to knock their opponents’ ball away but the correct amount of spin to send them both rolling out of bounds. It is engrossing and almost the ultimate spectator sport, and it was nice to see in one game the passing on of the baton as a 14 year old boy was taking part and being shown the ropes (seemingly a male dominated sport though).

As has been the case before, it seems like a really good group with lots of interesting people and so the next few days should be fun (but hard work). Anyhow, the trek proper starts tomorrow so more soon,

Dave

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