Since our 'course de pétanque' is so rocky and uneven, it is virtually impossible to truly aim at the little cochonet, the small wooden ball one has to aim for. I joke with the neighbors that we are playing 'extreme pétanque', rather than the slightly easier version played on an actual court.
Since pétanque has become a big part of our summers here, one f our outings last week was to the Obut museum and store attached to its factory. Obut is the number one manufacturer of boules world-wide and happens to be located in Saint-Bonnet-le-Château, right here in the Auvergne. The museum is small, but quite interesting for those passionate about pétanque.
Besides an overview of the history of the game, the museum shows the step-by-step process involved in manufacturing boules. Did you know that the actual boule is hollow? I did not either.
Most boules are made of steel, but Obut now manufactures sets in carbon and inbox. Obviously, those are for professionals and are quite pricey. They are for sale in the boutique, where one can also purchase monogramed boules.
We certainly don't play well enough to have our initials engraved in special boules. Perhaps one day.
Our visit to Obut included lunch in their new restaurant, overlooking Saint-Bonnet-le-Château.
The restaurant includes a few pétanque courts, so we took advantage and played a game before lunch.
At the Obut museum
'Le Plaisir de la pétanque' by B. Morvan
an old lathe used to make cochonets in the past.
a collection of old nail-studded wooden boules
The pétanque courts inside the Obut restaurant.
The view from the restaurant's terrace