Tour de France 2012

Today was Tour de France day. For the third time since we’ve been here, the Tour has come through the Possum Kingdom.

It’s always a fun day, even if the actual cycling part only lasts for mere seconds.

But it’s not really about the cycling; it’s about the experience.

We started noticing that the population was growing several days ago. The camp ground looks completely packed for the first time since we’ve lived here. There were also large numbers of strangers (and their dogs) wandering around town.

This morning, by 10:00, people were already taking chairs down to the race zone. As soon as we heard the first loudspeakers, we went over to wait for the “swag” mobiles of the pre-race Caravan. Our friends Diane and Evan are here, and they’re excellent at catching the best swag as it flies through the air. We gathered a whole tote bag-full . When the caravan finished, I went home and made us a picnic lunch of meatloaf sandwiches, artisanal potato chips and homemade strawberry ice cream (my first batch but not my last). I took it all down to the race course and we ate it done there.

The whole village turns out, so it’s a social event as well as a race. I even gave some ice cream to a couple of neighbors (who later came by with eggs from their chickens). All-in-all a truly fun day. And, here is a link to the footage of the actual race; enjoy!

Ciao for now.


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17 thoughts on “Tour de France 2012

  1. Thanks so much for posting this. We are going to review the NBC Sports coverage to see if we can identify Chalabre.

  2. I followed the race on Eurosport and it didn’t start until Lavelanet—malheureusement! But I still got to see a lot of favorite countryside, even if Chalambre and parts east weren’t on the menu.
    By saying I watched it on Eurosport, it was online with German commentators..but since I didn’t care about the details didn’t matter. With my face 16″ from the monitor and using the full screen function, I found myself almost becoming car sick following the riders when they were going quickly around the sharp turns. but of course, were I driving the road(s) myself it wouldn’t bother me…
    Of course staying up to watch the races has thrown my inner clock off (+9 hours as I’m in LA)…
    Please, more pictures of dogs (yes, I’ve seen the videos), you know, still life with dogs…

  3. Lynda, they never start the coverage at the beginning and only show clips of that part if something noteworthy happens. JM has had some ideas to get us “noticed,” but let’s just say they’d need a criminal mastermind to pull them off!

  4. Hiya, Randy! Have been thinking for a while now, to drop a line & hope that whatever’s keeping you so busy this summer is ALL GOOD!! 😎 Hope those pups are having a great time, and the in-laws are getting settled in, and maybe even JM has been able to spend most of the summer at home with you. We’re doing OK, getting lots of sorting and packing and finishing-up projects done, but having a heck of a time finding a house where we want to move to for the rest of retirement! Real estate market in B.C. seems to be drying up completely, in our price range, anyway.

    • Hi, yourself. It has been a hot, quiet summer. we’ve now been dealing with JM’s parents, who are not doing well. His mother has Alzheimer’s and we’re not sure what is wrong with his dad, but he’s going into hospital next week for tests. This is not sitting well with his mother, who is hysterical and upset over it all. we’re in contact with their doctor, social services, senior services, etc., and trying to deal with it as best we can.

      Where is it that you want to live? We’re very glad we moved to France, given the current state of affairs in the U.S. We really couldn’t have afforded to stay in L.A., and we certainly couldn’t have afforded health care anywhere.


      • Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver BC; or MAYBE out on the Island, but Himself has lived on the Island before and is very ambivalent about doing that again; the ferry is up to about $100 one-way???? and his sibs are all on the mainland.
        so, we (he) spends a lot of time looking at real estate on-line, IN OUR PRICE RANGE, which is one of the problems!, and trying to figure out real-estate-ese “magic words”, you know, the insider’s jargon terms that will help him construct searches for what we REALLY want. which is a fixer-upper that is currently livable, with gardening land. we are NOT interested in a recently remodeled anything, as that is just shorthand for “take our crumby ideas of decor and all the problems we hid.”
        well, we have two weather-dependent fix-it projects on the current house that are going pretty well, if, as usual, taking longer than hoped for, but when those are done, we’ll be going up for a week to look in person. wish us luck!

        • I have friends who live /have lived on the island. It looks beautiful, but getting to the mainland in a hurry seems out. Before moving to France, that was one of the places we looked into ourselves, but we weren’t sure if we would have qualified to immigrate, and it was way out of our price range for anywhere big enough for our needs. Good luck with the search.

  5. Just checking in, again 😎 Is there a Thanksgiving equivalent in France? We’re still chugging away at pre-sale house fixing-up. Almost done with the last really big project (making a new front door for the place). Hope things with the ‘rents are going reasonably well, and that the pups, and you & JM are fine. Best wishes for the Holidays, in any case!

  6. Merry Christmas Eve! Hope all is going well, or at least headed that direction. We actually had a bit of snow about a week ago, just 24hrs worth, but lots closer to a “White Christmas” than usual, here in the warm-wet Willamette Valley. We had hoped to be in BC for this Christmas, but things take longer, sigh. Hope the fur-kids are doing fine, also. Cheers & Ciao!

    • Thanks, and the same to you. No snow here; in fact, it was around 60 F here today! We had a lovely, quiet celebration, but things are massively hectic, because we’re bringing JM’s parents to live in my mom’s old house. We have two apartments being finished for them and a stairlift being installed. They’re in terrible condition and can’t live on their own any longer.

  7. I chanced on your website while surfing any and all things Languedoc. I will certainly drop in often.

    My family and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary with a two-week vacation in France last July 1st to July 15th, and we spent a week or so in the vacation home of (Welsh) friends in Rivel.

    How wonderful it is to read your comments about life in lovely Chalabre. I am catching up on your backlog of posts… It`s like being there a little bit..

    Our 14-days in Douce France will fill the remaining years of our life with an endless supply of warm souvenirs. Your blogs will help keep those souvenirs ”alive”.

    André Chénier

    • I’m glad you are enjoying it, AndrĂ©. I’m afraid I haven’t been very good at keeping things updated, because life seems to have gotten in the way of writing for the last year or so. I do want to get back to it though. Sorry we didn’t get to meet while you were here.

  8. Please don’t let my arrival put pressure on you! I am vorasciously reading everything I can get my hands on about Languedoc, and I have more than I can handle now. But if you don’t mind, as I am reading your past posts, I may reply and ask a question here and there…Questions that you can answer at your leisure, if at all …

    It`s strange how a little bit of familiarity with a topic makes new knowledge stick so much better. Most of what i am reading now I had read before the trip but not retained.

    Who knows what the future holds. We may get to revisit the region one day (our Welsh friends have extended a standing invitation to their house).

    • I don’t feel pressure from the blog at all. Caring for invalids is far more stressful, believe me!

      I’d be delighted to answer your questions, no problem. And, if you come back we’d be happy to meet you!

  9. Bon Jour, ma cher Randy! There, that’s about what I can pull off the top of my head, 😎 Anyway, hope you had a nice Easter & are having reasonable spring weather. Yet again, I realize I have no idea how to check on the weather where you are, certainly isn’t any kind of regular coverage on the tee-vee machine… here’s hoping for a milder year of weather for all of us!

    • Hi Pat!

      Today is gorgeous here: sunny and blue skies, although still chilly this morning, but I’m sure that will change this afternoon. You can always check with Meteo France for the local weather.

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