Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Vive les Radis! Vive la Biere! Vive la Velorution!

And so we arrived in la Sarthe. First a beautiful forest, la Forêt de Bercé.
It was very hot and the cool refreshing forest was the only place to be! Amongst our friends the trees!
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Our friends in the village were also fun! The super, friendly, full of atmosphere cafe associatif
La Brass Vie de Jupilles hosted us. The heart of the village.
We stayed a while, visited La Maison Bleue, where Sammy was threshing rye. Just enough to last him through the winter. A bowl of delicious power food!

And there in the woods we met a puppeteer, who sculpts the marionettes for his Le Petit Théâtre des Mains from the bois de Bercé.

BUT NOT THIS ONE! This one was made by the wild children...


C'est par là ! This way to Teloche! We have been invited, to play our show, let's go!
Spontaneous gig No.1 at La Pince a Velo, Sarthes first and only Cafe Velo! With Olivier, a real cyclist super lovely man who cleaned our filthy bikes, gave us new chains and set us free to continue our périple.
This must have been the sweatiest gig of the year! We thought nobody would turn up because of the heat... but they did! And it was absolutely brilliant!

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Finally sensible signage, made by cyclists for cyclists! Hurray!

An unexpected interlude at our friends farm Radis&Co.


We arrived to stay the weekend and do our show at the local super mini market of Montflours organised by Anim’Montflours. Because of torrential rain we played the official opening of the Archipel, the new home of the Brasserie Associative de Montflours - BAM.
This must have easily been the wettest gig of the year.
But we was under the Archipel and everybody came running towards us in the rain.
Well well, because of a grande appendicite we ended up staying a month. And how lucky we was to be struck by a stroke of luck here amongst wonderful people who were all going on holiday and let us use their luxury pads to get Kevins digestive system back in order.
Ready for the next show! Ready for Le Bruit qui Court, a super, mini, friendly festival back at the farm.
Vive les Radis! Vive la BAM! Vive Montflours!

Whoa! bicycle bunting!

And then, a month late, but actually just in time for the end of the holidays, we arrived in the legendary village of Langouët, Commune écologique bretonne, where the mayor is fighting for less pesticides and is inspiring the nation!
We had a great time with the lovely people of the Cafe La Cambuse and were very glad we had finally made it! 

And there comes another invitation. A volunteer from the council at St.Sulpice La Forest is asking us to come and play at the Forum des Associations. Voila! On y va! Spontaneous gig No 2. 
Thank you to the kind person from the Epicerie- Taverne- Agriculturelle Le Guibra who forwarded our contact!  

After another little bike ride and a pique-nique....
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....we just about make it up the Col du Plessis - Altitude 1000cm

... and onwards to Valanjou. A broken seat post later we get ferried of - in a van! to play at L'Asso 7, under a tree in a little room. What an adventure, taking a lift in a van the day before World Car Free Day! Tut tut tut!

Next stop Redon!

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To meet up with new and old friends. New friends from Un Velo pour l'Afrique,, a fabulous workshop that sits on the edge of an industrial wasteland that has been managed by a community group called Le Transformateur, for ten years or more and is slowly being transformed by allowing nature to regenerate itself , creating a post industrial jungle garden. Yes! Lush!

New friends from the wonderful world of warmshowers, Coralie and Laurent who hosted us in Redon and inspired us with their playful art of mobiles, flip books and early cinema. 

And we got a letter! A real, papery letter with words written in it! Delivered by our old friend Vincent, Le Facteur Humain
Our first letter in 6 years on the road. We're chuffed! Plus it's an invitation to the 10th anniversary of our favorite festival Le Festival du Roc Castel, Eloge du Voyage Lent!
We will be there!

We stayed with our friends Mimi et Fabien in St. Hilaire de Chaleons. Made some puppets with them. Please meet Belle Pou and Elk.
La Compagnie de la Mitaine

A superbly lit theatre dans le jardin which led to our spontaneous gig No 3 the very next day at the very wonderful, newly opened

 Cafe Associatif
3 Francs 6 Sous in Le Pellerin.

And then southwards to Perigueux! It's mushroom season and the woods are brimming with mushroom hunters. We had no time for mushrooms as we had to cycle really fast to get to our rendez-vous with La Velorution Perigourdine and the Cafe Pluche in Comberanche et Epeluche.

Back and forth we went. Through the forest, over the hills, past the mushrooms to do two gigs in two days, rapidoo giddy bee.

France 3 came to interview us! Oh lala!
Cafe Pluche et Spoke'n'Chain sur France 3

Onwards onwards to another set of beautifully enthusiastic people, to the valley of the Dordogne!

First off  in the heart of Sainte Foy la Grande a long standing community project, weaving and building peace and love in the Coeur de Bastide.
Coeur de bastide

Then to see our lovely friends Françoise and Dominique and play our show for them in a truly glorious venue, a right proper theatre setting. The garage of their friends Fabienne and Jean-Marie all part of a new Cafe Associatif and Castillon in Transition.
But what a garage it was!


Les Amis!

A rare sight in France - a square that isn't a car park. A common sight in France - a closed down shop.
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Cycle, cycle, cycle, cake, cake cake to our last show of the year with the sister of Jean-Marie in Lescar Pau. Theatre a la maison, around the fire place, a perfect way to finish off the year!
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Before we spend the winter as russian, constructivist peasants.....
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