Friday, 22 April 2011

139. Plan for tomorrow

22nd April 2011. I can still feel last night's outing on the river..! Went out in a mixed VIII sculler with an unfamiliar face at stroke. A powerfully built oarswoman, she took us way up the river and it wasn't long before the usual chatter emanating from the fairer sex in the boat (I'll get shot for that!) dried up as the pace quickened. After a long sortie consisting of firm rowing interspersed with short sprints, we returned in one piece from the turn-around before completing the last 2km at racing pace. Afterwards I needed 2 hands to turn the ignition key in the car! 17km (Running total: 590km).

Unwinding on the terrace last night with a glass of cold rosé, I could hear the first unmistakeable sounds of a Basque band practising for the Fête de Bayonne later in the year. The drum section were rattling through what sounded like those classic slow drum rolls that were played (if you believe the movies!) when the tumbrils rolled towards the guillotine. Spooky sound.

The plan for attacking Urt tomorrow via the up-river route has been shelved due to the tidal conditions that will prevail. We'll still be heading up the Adour but only as far as Lahonce. The bottles are in the fridge already for my return.. (one each of rosé and oxygen!)

23rd April 2011. Plan A changed into Plan B and this morning, on the riverbank, it morphed effortlessly into Plan C..! We set off downstream for a change - through the centre of Bayonne (which is currently celebrating la Foire au Jambon) which was decorated with a ginormous inflatable jambon de Bayonne! We rowed out past the Port de Plaisance before returning.. 12km (Running total: 602km)
24th April 2011. I forgot to mention that as we returned upriver to the town centre, we encountered several all-girl traînières (I think from the Association Ibaïalde, Anglet - tell me if I've got it wrong). They all had a mightily impressive swing - from way forward to way back it looked to be around 120°.
Yesterday the town centre was choc-a-bloc with activities relating to the Foire au Jambon. There was a hot air balloon tethered and traditional marching and then the main programme began at 10am with the championnat de France de cuisine à la plancha. (you don't need me to translate that do you?) Then, from 10.30am-midday, there was a démonstration de jeu de paume par le club jeu de paume de Navarre, at the Trinquet Saint-André. Also at 10.30am there was a démonstration de traînières sur la Nive avec Ibaïalde (course exclusivement féminine) - this is what we saw from our boat. Then, slacken off your belts a notch, at 11am there was a concours d’omelettes au jambon avec les associations bayonnaises. (A ham omelette competition!) At the same time, Basque choirs were singing at the Market Hall with the final being held in the Cathedral cloisters.. (Baiona Kantuz aux Halles avec un final au Cloître). And at 2.30pm, Aviron Bayonnais were kicking off against the darlings of Paris - Stade Français. The town could have held a creative parking competition in association with this match as cars were parked all over town with a verve, imagination and complete disregard for the the rules matched only by the Neapolitans - who don't so much park their cars as abandon them. Bayonne scored an avalanche of tries to emerge with a thumping 54-20 victory.. Well done AB!

Here's the programme for today:

9am: Intronisation des nouveaux membres de la Confrérie du Jambon de Bayonne à la Maison des associations.

10am: Défilé des confréries de la Maison des associations vers la cathédrale.

11am: Messe traditionnelle de Pâques en la cathédrale en présence des confréries et animée par la chorale Errobi Kanta.

12am: Défilé des confréries de la cathédrale vers la Maison des associations.

5.30pm: Bal des confréries, à la Maison des associations.

8.30pm: Vulcanalia, spectacle équestre de l’artiste Gilles Fortier aux arènes.


Danceswithjcbs said...

As you rapidly approach 600km, how goes the return of your lissome good looks with Mde Piperade??? :)

Pipérade said...

Lissome? Moi? I think not, pilgrim..