Friday, 3 October 2008


With apologies for the gap - I have been busy with some consultancy, I thought I would post some photos of a new event which took place in the village this summer, to huge public acclaim. As I think I have mentioned, throughout the summer we have a series of bull and horse related events - one of which is known as the 'abrivado' and involves 5 camargue horsemen and women galloping up the main street with a bull, and the locals trying to stop the bull, turn it round and send it back in the opposite direction. The somewhat hazy origins of the practice seem to be that that's what happened historically when bulls were being brought to market - the locals seized the opportunity to indulge in a spot of bull theft.

This year's new event was billed as a 'transhumance des anes' or a version of the seasonal transhumance, where sheep (mostly) are driven from the hot lowlands to cooler mountains in spring and driven back down again in autumn. Guy tells me that animals used to do this themselves without any prompting, which I guess makes sense as their instincts seem somewhat more honed than our own.

Anyway, on the night in question, the horsemen came galloping up the street in the usual intimidating manner....and then nothing much happened - as the 20 donkeys who were following them ambled up behind, heading off down side streets, stopping to eat geraniums etc. They eventually made it to the end of the road, at which point, the riders tried to round them up to take them back in the opposite direction to no avail as the entire population of Rognonas seemed to be in the street, stroking the donkeys, who were having a very nice time, thank you very much and were going no where. A mass therapy session then ensued before the donkeys were eventually persuaded back down the road and home to their fields full of hay, offerings of carrots and general goodwill. Let's hope it becomes a regular feature.


  1. Aw - I love donkeys - but NOT in a bad way...