Have you ever heard of “tree sports?” Neither had I. Now, trees are where I’d love to hang out. Literally! Time to learn about three sports in Uzès.
Tree sports in Uzès
One of my favorite places in Uzes is the Vallée de l’Eure. I’ve written about the spring that feeds Pont du Gard, the swans, the STEPS, and various other things that amuse me there.
However, nothing has caught me more off guard than to find men hanging in the trees.
The woods are pretty thick along the winding trails in the Vallée de l’Eure. Often, it is difficult to see more than a few yards ahead. It’s part of the charm of being there. This particular day, when I saw the men in the trees, I had left the apartment intending to take only a short walk.
I had planned to accomplish a lot that day; the walk was just the first of many things on my “to-do” list. Right after I got to the last of the STEPS that led down to the park, I heard men talking in the distance. Strolling, as usual, I intentionally headed toward the voices because the path was rocky and uneven. Of course, I had no idea what they were saying. They were speaking in French. By the time I could hear them more clearly, it was apparent the sounds were coming from the trees.
There they were! Dangling on ropes up in the air. I couldn’t get there fast enough. My curiosity was killing me!
Then I realized I didn’t have my camera!
“What!” says me to myself. “What a great story for my blog: ‘Finding Tarzan in the Jungles of France.'”
Reality hit. I had an appointment in less than an hour. How could I get back to the apartment, grab my camera, run back to the park, take pictures, go back to the apartment, change clothes, and then be on my way and on time? Impossible!
It was like a “good angel” on my right shoulder saying: “Forget it; you’ve made a commitment. You must forget about this story for your silly blog and get on with your life.” A “bad angel” on my left shoulder said: “Forget, Hell! This is a great story. Don’t be stupid.”
So what did I do? I went back for the camera, of course!
Tree sports in Uzès
Tree climbing, or hanging out in trees, is becoming a popular pastime, especially in France. The abundance of lush forests and people looking for new and different ways to spend time outdoors have created a new industry. The young men I met are utility workers for their “real jobs,” they run a business for tourists on the side. From what I could understand, they spoke little English, and … you know me and my French … their business is quite good. They provide the ropes, harnesses, and expertise to get you into a tree. Plus, they set up the three “boats” where you can spend as much time as you’re willing to pay to “hang” out.
Sounds like fun to me!!
Prayer of a Tree
To The Wayfarer,
Ye who pass by and would raise your hand against me, harken ere you harm me.
I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights,
the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun.
My fruits are refreshing draughts,
quenching your thirst as you journey on.
I am the beam that holds your house,
the board of your table,
the bed on which you lie,
and the timbers of your boat.
I am the handle of your hoe,
the door of your homestead,
the wood of your cradle,
the shell of your coffin.
I am the bread of kindness and the flower of beauty.
Ye who pass by,
listen to my prayer; harm me not.
–reportedly from the book “Spanish Sunshine” by Elinor Elsner, circa 1925, and was a notice found on a tree in a park in Seville, Spain, posted by Ray on the Boards of the Native Tree Society