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A Jaunt to Colombiers and Boules

October 29, 2014

I’m down to my last few days in Capestang, so have decided to stay close to home for my explorations.  There was a restaurant in Colombiers (15 minutes away) that I wanted to try, so I motored on over for lunch. Au Lavoir is situated on the Canal du Midi, but you can only enjoy the view from the terrace, which on this day wasn’t open for lunch. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a pretty good steak frites with mushrooms and a small salad — the menu du moment — for 14 euros.

After lunch I wandered along the canal. Fall has finally made its entrance: the leaves on the plane trees are turning and the wind has returned. The canal winds its lonely way back toward Capestang, no boats in sight.

Plane tree from below                                   Empty Canal du Midi

Between 12 0r 12:30 and 2:30 or so, everything is closed except restaurants, and the towns are very quiet. Strolling through the streets, you’re unlikely to run into anyone at all; the only signs of life are the clank of silverware and soft conversation from luncheon tables behind closed shutters. At the boulodrôme, a man and a woman had arrived with their equipment but were just sitting in the sun. I loitered for a bit, but a game didn’t seem to be imminent.

As I was returning to the car, I encountered a guy carrying his own boules.  I asked if he was about to play with the other folks; he replied in the affirmative and asked if I played. I assured him I didn’t, but asked if I could watch. (I now wish I had asked him if I could try it.)  In any case, I was glad I would see a game, since I hadn’t run across one during my stay here.

Boules game

Boules is like bocce, except that the balls are lofted underhand, not rolled.  It’s a pretty simple game: the object is to toss your boule so it lands closer to the cochonnet (a walnut-sized wooden ball) than anyone else’s. At any turn a player can attempt to strike another player’s ball and knock it out of play, or knock the cochonnet to an entirely different spot on the court.  Therefore, you don’t know who wins until the final ball lands. A tape measure is an essential part of the gear.

The crouch         Measuring     Game's end

It was fun to watch.  There was one woman player, and she was expert at striking others’ balls. It’s a civilized game, though quite a few merdes flew, all in good humor.

Boule in hand

From → Solo travel

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