Thursday, September 6, 2012

Creek bed cleaned

Whenever it rains extremely heavily on the slopes above Gamone, once or twice a year, the creek becomes a raging torrent, and it often overflows onto the road. To prevent this overflow, the village council decided to clean and deepen the creek bed (completely dry at present) below my house.

The work was carried out yesterday by a fellow-citizen of Choranche, René Uzel, using his own mini digger. The previous day, with the help of Choranche's municipal employee, René had actually laid a few meters of new macadam at two weak spots on the road up to my neighbor's place. First, he used a heavy disc grinder to make cuts in the existing macadam, which he then removed with his mini digger. After smoothing the underlying earth, René then drove off in his truck to pick up a load of steaming bitumen. Finally, he used a heavy roller to obtain a perfectly flat surface. I was very impressed by his manual skills. After all, there are surely few stonemasons today (that's René's initial trade) who can lay down a macadam road single-handedly.

ADDENDUM: Yesterday evening, I was surprised to find that Choranche played an unexpected role in the latest episode of the ongoing MasterChef cooking competition. In my blog post of 19 December 2006 entitled Caves of Choranche [display], I mentioned briefly the fact that my adoptive village is world-famous for its limestone caves. Well, MasterChef had organized a trial between the members of two cooking teams who were asked to produce a gastronomical dinner, inside the main gallery of the Choranche caves, for a small group of speleologists emerging from the bowels of the earth. I was shocked to learn that the authorities in charge of the preservation of this site would have allowed it to be invaded by cooking fumes and camera lighting.

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