(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)
Monday, June 22, 2009
I received a newsletter from the mairie detailing the goings-on in Brantôme...in addition to the usual stuff (budgets, town committees, births marriages deaths...there was information on an upcoming 'randonnée' organized by the Dordogne Conseil de General. I asked JY to read this and discuss to make sure I was getting the drift...
So what it was was a perfectly organized family and citizens event ... launching in Brantôme and culminating in Bourdeilles. It offered biking, canoeing or walking a trail. But when I arrived, I realized it was so much more ...
I rode my bike down to the park to see a large trailer stacked three high with canoes. Another trailer held a large supply of bicycles ... good bikes, mind you ... in all sizes.
A couple of tables were set up and 2 good looking young fellows milled around in shorts, greeting people and chatting. We started in french, but as soon as my accent was detected (as well as my crappy french, I'm sure) some english was added. At first the fellow couldn't figure out what I needed since I had a bike. I told him I needed to know the process, since I was alone. He corralled the other fellow ... who told me there was a route to Bourdeilles and I could go with him if I waited. A few more pleasantries and then I thought to introduce myself. I screwed that up royally ... (realizing I haven't had the need to present myself in a long time...) the first part (je me present) went okay but then I said Je suis Kim ... DOH! what's the first thing we learn in french class 101??? not je suis ... je m'appelle ... sigh. well, he didn't skip a beat and we continued on.
As I waited, Guillaume returned and handed me a pamphlet prepared for the day. It had the course marked, stops marked along the way and questions for the kids about the history and what not . He then told me that all of the visits (a chateau, separate large gardens, a famous mill, etc) were free!
We commenced and I noticed that the route was marked about every 100 yards or so ... we went on paved roads as well as a little bit through field and mud! flat terrain and uphill! 11 plus kilometers, one way. Most of the participants utilized the equipment provided and were given a bus ride back to Brantôme after reaching the destination. Since I used my bike, I turned and retraced the route ... so that was 22 plus kilometers for me ... and being a novice and a non-sportif type, that was pretty damn awesome!
After I got home, I showered and went back to Bourdeilles for a night of music. 3 bands in their square, and dinner facing ... All in all a fun day... yes, I do love my new bike!