Early August in Cerbère means a three day 'party' in honour of St Sauveur featuring much eating, drinking and dancing.
This year we were in the town for the first of the evenings' celebrations which started with a brass and percussion band playing under the shady plane trees of the town's main gathering point - Le Place de la Republique.
An hour later, everyone moved to Le Ramblas, a raised area above the beach to eat roasted veal and to be entertained by Samba dancers and musicians. Following on was a bizarre striptease act featuring one small, cleanly shaven, (all over - well, as far as we could see) muscly man.
A Chippendale revealing all to an event organiser
When the crowd had recovered, a fire-juggling belly dancer appeared and danced to a Bollywood soundtrack for half an hour, then a DJ, and following, the main event: a four piece band wearing satin leopard skin dressing gowns, terrible wigs and 'flip-down' shades. After some 'clowning about' they removed the gowns, revealing tiny black thongs and then proceeded to pull on lycra leopard skin pants over the top of the thongs and crash into a scary rendition of 'Staying Alive'.
We left after the next song (which appeared to be about buying chocolate croissants) went back to the flat and sat on our tiny terrace with mint tea listening to the base booming, wondering what time it might all end and discussing the band's name which had had two different spellings according to which poster you looked at. 'Sans interdite', (without not allowed) or, 'Sens Interdite' (One way Street).
The next morning there was a 'Sadanas' band (traditional Catalan music) playing back in the square. We took our seats and waited for the dancing to begin. I've seen these bands many times but the dance itself still remains quite mysterious - how it starts and how anyone actually knows how to interpret the music. This time, a woman appeared at the edge of the square (actually a 'round') and remained there, hopping and prancing a little as if testing the music and steps. Eventually she ventured into the middle and other people gradually joined in, arms raised, each other's hands clasped, daintily stepping in time to the double bass, or sometimes the tiny drum strapped to the band leader's arm. The age range of dancers is often from small children through to ancient grannies - nice to see in this ageist age . . .