Sunday, May 09, 2010

Beynac IV

Since the Cunninghams have arrived we have been wizzy-dizzying all over the countryside. The four of us fit into K&N's Renault Clio very comfortably and Ken zips along the King's highway at a goodly pace.

Today, for example, we hooted off to a strawberry festival at Beaulieu, some 76 km and 2 1/2 hours away. This seems a long time for a short trip, but that is because it is. The festival itself was wonderful in its rustic simplicity and charm. For example, there were two bands playing at each end of the village. Each consisted of saxaphones, trumpets, flutes, one or two tubas, a side drum a cymball and a snare drum. The first band we came upon was most notable for its liveliness and vigour. The snaredrummer leapt about, almost dancing in time with the band. He was aged about 12 or 13. He was really getting into it, and was sacrificing nothing in terms of musicality. The other band was equally as entertaining, but much more disciplined under the powerful direction of a trumpeter. The bands seemed to hail from different villages in the region.

The rest of the festival comprised stalls of mainly food set up along the streets of the village offering samples of their produce. This included srawberries of course, heaps of them. Also various hams, cheeses, aperitifs (including dandelion and oxalis wine, of whic we bought a bottle) and sausages. These last were of the solid, slice-off-a-bit-at-a-time and have-it on-a-cracker along with your aperitif before dinner. You know the sort. We bought a couple of these from a very French-Farmer looking chap whom we had seen at a previous market in Salat a couple of days ago. The truly wonderful thing about him was that he had a photograph of himself inside the sty with several of his pigs. In the photo he is carrying the most enormous axe you would ever wish to see. He is clearly in the first throes of Step One of the process of pork sausage manufacture. Thankfully, none of the subsequent steps were presented in pictorial form.

The only other aspect of note for the srawberry festival was a ginormous strawberry tart. It was said to weigh 800 kgs and some 8 metres in diameter. It is much, much bigger than the one at Vergt, which is only half that size. That festival is next week. Our huge tart was sheltering under a great big tent, which was just as well, because it was raining a finch and we all had our umbrellas unfurled. Altogether it was another great morning.

Afternoon was spent at a reproduction of a cave that contained reproductions of cave paintings. No one is allowed into the original cave because it would get wrecked. Bit of a rip-off, I suggest, given the stretch of imagination needed to carry one's mind from the copy to the original - especially given that the original was located nearby. The cave and it's paintings were very good, though, it must be said.

Got some sleep-rambling to get int now, so bon nuit to all!

YBPs, The Ramblers!

1 comment:

  1. dearest parents, you better have taken a photo of the french farmer and his french pigs and his french portrait of himself with the pigs.