Leaving Ariège in a trailer last June, a family from Miglos criss-crossed the country to take part in a horse race, which started on Saturday in Boulogne-sur-Mer.
It’s been quite a journey for the Chabot family. Breeders of mares and mules in Miglos, near Tarascon-sur-Ariège, Edith and Alexandre recently crossed France from south to north… in a caravan!
Leaving Niaux on June 18, arriving in Pas-de-Calais before the start of the school year, they criss-crossed the country in the company of their three children, Maïkan, Eniska and Ozalice (4 to 12 years old), towed by a skewer of mules on nearly 1,400 kilometers. In sight, the Fish Route, an endurance race reserved for draft horses linking Boulogne-sur-Mer to Paris, which they finished Sunday, September 18 in sixth place (twelve teams). “We wanted to combine different things. The family project, which was to travel with the children, the challenge represented by the Fish Route, but also the training of our mules throughout the journey”, explains Edith, the mother.
Almost every morning, in the summer heat, the little family hit the road around 10 a.m. Put in the advance by her mules Canelle, Galant and Harry, she then rolled over ten kilometers, at slow speed (6 km / h on average).
In the trailer with flashy colors, while the machine glided on the paths and secondary roads, the three children could alternate between work for school and co-piloting, helping their parents to find the road, from the route established upstream on a tablet.
Animals adopted along the way
Around 1:30 p.m., however, the band marked a break, avoiding the scorching temperatures of the afternoon. She finally left between 5 and 6 p.m., to cover another short stretch of road. Before finally landing. “We had to find the right places for the mules. So we went to farms, communal meadows and from time to time stables, specifies Edith. People often left us a piece of their land. They showed a lot of of hospitality.”
On free time, meals, relaxation, cycling and card games occupied the intrepid travellers. The little stories of the course, they were legion. Leaving on 09 with a single dog, Kisma, the Chabots came across a female Australian Shepherd on the way. The latter is now part of the small animal shop. “Along the way, we also picked up a pigeon that had fallen from its nest!” Says the mother of the family. The bird will be released on their return to the Ariège lands.
Traveling 25 kilometers daily in a small nomadic habitat, and this for almost 70 days of travel (ahead of forecasts, the trailer and its occupants then remained in Hauts-de-France), this also had its share of galleys . “One day, we found ourselves on a small road where there was hail. Trees were down, so we had to clear with our saw,” says the Miglos family.
In their house of a few months, bought for the occasion and named La Sortilège, the adventure was nevertheless memorable. “This trip was magical. We met lots of great people, we saw very different landscapes, and riding to the rhythm of the mules allowed us to slow down compared to a life that is accelerating. It feels good to take the time.” Like clockwork.