Day 6 - Fete Major in Arles-sur-Tech

Sunday - and the patronal feast in our temporary home town of Arles-sur-Tech. Soon we're getting ready to go down to the town and see the procession. When camping, you have to use what's available, and the rain has cleaned the Galaxy windows.

The procession wobbled its way through the streets of the village, with the busts of Ss Abdon and Sennen at the front, followed by the reliquary, then the clergy and dignitaries, then all and sundry who chose to follow.

The church filled as the processors joined those already in the pews, and the Mass started. At the offertory the dancers from Allegria, who we had seen yesterday, processed up ...

...and danced the Sardana on the sanctuary.

The Mass concluded with veneration and distribution of water from the Holy Tomb. We took a few minutes to visit the abbey cloisters, a haven of peace.

Descending from the abbey church to the square, we found Sardanas in full swing. the accompaniment of the cobla band.

Whenever the band started, people were up dancing in small groups which grew and grew.

We returned to camp, where the pouf pouf girls (who had watched the procession then gone to do the shopping) were waiting for us. The heat was increasing by the minute.

After lunch, we went out in the cars, with a view to going up into the hills and finding a refreshing stream. We found a factory shop selling local table linen, and parted with our cash, before heading on up to Coulouges, near to the Spanish border. There were many interesting old buildings, with street names on pink marble plaques.

The church was impressive, with a massive carved doorway.

Up a side road (looking for a viewpoint) the surfaced road ran out; before we turned round we watched a wide variety of butterflies.

back to Coustouges we headed down the road into Spain, where the surface improved. We looked at the view south...

... and back to Coustouges.

We then continued along the road, looking for rivers marked on the map, but they were all dry or completely overgrown. We kept going all the way to La Jonquera, then back over the border, returning to Arles via Ceret and Amelie-les-Bains.