Monday, 7 July 2014

le Tour de France seizes the day

After driving along the route of the le Tour de France yesterday and seeing the buzz on Face Book this morning, the excitement was catching.  So I checked details and travel and quickly packed the camper. The route actually came quite close to my home, but I decided to drive further afield to a small village, where  there looked to be easy parking.  As well as liking village atmosphere, I'd seen photos of a bike that had been yarn bombed.  I was told it would be on the village green and as I had seen this creation come together on Face Book I wanted to see the actual thing.  

Interestingly, despite copious warnings about heavy traffic, delays and road blocks, my chosen journey was a dream.  And when I arrived, even though in good time, the official car park was full but a farmer had opened a large field.  Perfect!

There was a buzz of excitement in the village centre and I have NEVER seen so many cyclists and bikes.  And no, these were not part of the le Tour de France!  Just cycling clubs and individuals who had come to be part of this amazing event.

I never did find the yarn bombed cycle,  but this one made me smile....

And then after much anticipation and trying to find a good spot to watch from, the race was preceded by the colourful 'Caravanne Publicitaire', led by a cavalcade of police on motorbikes and official cars.  There was a great atmosphere.

There was nearly two hours to wait for the cyclists to pass through but I rejected my plan to go back to the camper as everyone else stayed in position.  I didn't want to loose the chance of seeing the race and taking photos because I had a bad position.  As it was, I wandered around and found a better place.  And just as 5 helicopters overhead announced the cyclists were approaching I was able to squeeze into a small gap and had prime position!!  I couldn't believe my luck! 

And when the cyclists arrived it happened in fast motion...

I took a video but it seems to play continuously so I will try and sort out a better way of downloading it.  Meanwhile, please imagine the cheers and the excitement as the cyclists whizzed past!
Then they were followed by another cavalcade, this time support teams. 

I read that there are 200 riders, 2,000 vehicles and up to 5,000 officials and press staff.  It certainly seemed an endless stream that passed through, quite an experience and I was so glad that I made a last minute decision to go and be there.

And then it was time to go home.  But even then the bikes didn't stop coming, because the 100's of cyclists that had come to watch had to leave by the narrow lanes that lead to this village, along with all the cars and people on foot.

Me?  I sat in the camper and made myself some lunch while and led the crowds dispersed, and then I had a lovely  quiet drive home.  Perfect!!  

5 in 5 - MELANIE - July 2014

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography. Every month Melanie has taken part in this monthly neme and we managed to find a way round her not having a blog by posting here. I love that we have found a way for her to take part!  When I began this photo challenge last July I did not anticipate that this partnership would develop. It was not planned but I am SO glad that it happened because it has added something unexpected. I am so excited each month when I open Melanie's email with her monthly photos so once again Melanie, a big thank you, and over to you:

I’ve just returned from a three week holiday and while we have been away there was lots of rain which could account for why the garden is so alive.  I thought it would be appropriate to mark the start of another year of 5 in 5 by taking photos in our garden which is where my first 5 in 5 began July last year. My photo on the top LHS is of marigolds which now seem to be overrunning the garden but I love them so colourful and weeds are no competition for them.  The top RHS photo is of the broccoli which has changed from a seedling to a broccoli head in the time we have been away. The bottom LHS photo is of our fish pond.  I love the way the palm tree is reflected in the water and the water level is a good indication of the amount of rain that fell.  The photo in the middle at the bottom shows off our new gates.  My husband has spent the weekend making them in the hope that they will keep the chickens out of the veg plot.  Then my final photo on the bottom RHS show a group of narcissus.  It is winter here in Adelaide but these flowers seem to have been tricked into thinking it is spring. 

As always Melanie's photos reached me on the 5th even though she'd been away travelling for most of the month. I wondered if her photos would be taken on a different continent - but Spring in Winter is good to me!

If this has inspired you to take part in this challenge you have until 25th before the link closes. It's great fun and this post should answer any questions or give any other information that you need.

Thank you to Melanie and everyone else who has joined in or left comments. Links for this months posts are here and hopefully I'll be back with more photos from Melanie and myself next month. I hope you will join me!

This month is an anniversary - one year since the first '5 in 5' post.  There has been a lot going on here and no time to plan but I will be back with an idea to celebrate.....!
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