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What is this game called?

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
hello all, I am hoping that someone out there might be able to help me with the name of the game shown in the attached photos.

While walking from le Puy to Santiago in 2007 I noticed a statue in the town of Espalion. The statue is on the path right next to the river and it looks like a strange discus thrower. The next day after, leaving the village of Senergues (the village after Espeyrac) we heard much clunking and banging. Eventually we got to the source of the noise and discovered what looked a little like an outdoor 10 pin bowling rink. The skittles are different though (straight up and down - not shaped) and a stick is held in the hand while a big wooden ball is held in the other. this is obviously a big game in the area (note the size of the rink) and I thought it would be relatively smimple to find out what it is called when I got home - but no! I have asked many French teachers here and native French people (even a couple from the south west of France) but no-one has ever seen this game played or is able to tell me what it is called. I am hoping to find the answer to my puzzle as I am sure some-one who has walked from Le Puy would have noticed this same game and perhaps was able to find out what it is called.

I hope I manage to attach these photos. Cheers, Janet
 

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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
here in the middle of rural Castilla y Leon, Spain we play this game during the annual fiesta, using pins and a huge wooden ball that looks like it´s well over a century old. It works much like bowling, and is called simply "bolas." I think.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Thank you Rebecca and Theo,

You have answered a question that I have been puzzling over and not been able to find the answer too. Whereas I saw plenty of pellotta courts in the Basque region and also Boule "courts?" too, this was the only time that I saw this particular game being played and no-one has had the answer to its name. With the size of the playing area it is evident that it is very poplular in that region. The path runs right beside the playing area, and what I presume to be the "club house", and I have no doubt that others have wondered what it is used for.

Thanks again, Janet
 

lavidalerie

New Member
Hi

I live near Espalion and I must admit I had wondered about the statue until I saw the game played (we also have a place it can be played in St Geniez so it is a popular game). The Chateau de Colombier has a set you can use so we are going to have a go this spring and hope that our fingers survive !
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Yes, obviously from the size of the "lanes / courts" in the above photos it is very popular. I will be interested to hear how your experiences went. I am kicking myself that I never took a photo of the statue in Espalion, but I must admit that I didn't look at it closely and just figured it was a variation of the olympic type sports such as shot put or similar. That area was the only area that I saw the "court / lanes" in the whole walk, and so though it might be popular, it obviously is just played in a very small area of France. Enjoy your game, Janet
 

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