Volunteers discover what is a Randonée
Volunteers at La Giraudière join local French community on a randonnée in Passirac.
Sunday the 29th April dawned like a November day in the UK. However, despite this, most of the volunteers set off for the little village of Passirac to begin the much anticipated walk, in French Randonnée, organized by the local Gym Club.
We were amazed at the number who had turned up but as soon as we arrived, people began to set off. In no time at all, the walkers were stretched out across a large area of the rolling lush green hills of south Charente. We enjoyed the beautiful fresh greens of Springtime whilst chatting among some new found French friends. There was a choice of a short route and a longer route and at the half way point, we were welcomed with hot tea or coffee and biscuits to spur us on our way. Red and white plastic ribbons were tied to the trees to ensure that no one got lost on the way. The weather gradually began to clear so that we could appreciate better the distant views. However, we had to watch our feet as parts of the walk were extremely boggy and it was impossible to keep our feet dry and our trousers from being covered in mud!
From around 12 noon, people began to gather at the Village Hall and paid 10 euros for a wonderful meal. Everyone took their own plates and cutlery but these were supplied for those who forgot. We were welcomed with a drink of either rosé and grapefruit juice or soft drinks for those driving, we then helped ourselves to a variety of salads which turned out to be the first of five courses in typical French style! Red and rosé wine was supplied to each of the four very long tables which seated over 100 people.
Next came pain grillé with wild boar (le sanglier) cooked in a delicious red wine base. This was followed by pork and green beans then a vinaigrette salad and cheese. Finally the locals produced a great selection of home-made desserts, all melt in the mouth and what I would call very “moreish”. The meal finally concluded with tea or coffee and the company gradually went their separate ways happy to have been part of this community effort.
Following this meal volunteers were invited back to take part in the aerobic class which is held every Wednesday evening in the village hall – another great way to be immersed in rural French life.
“Thank you Passirac village”