Canal du Midi, day 2

Another sunny day, ideal for cruising the Canal du Midi. Charles and I had an early breakfast followed by a walk to a Boulanger (baker) and an Épicerie (grocery store) to buy a few supplies. While the rest ate a later breakfast John and Anne did a walk in the town. We departed Sallèle D’Aude about 10:00. I drove at first then we took it in turns to drive and navigate through five locks along the Canal de Jonction, the first one alone, the next four with other boats.

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As the going was slow the girls left the boat and walked along the edge of the canal for a while, helping out at the automatic locks as we went.

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John drove the section where we crossed the river and changed canals. We soon turned left into Canal du Midi and came under a bridge and past lots of boats moored at Pont-canal de Cesse.

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We continued to Le Somail. Along the edge a busy Sunday flea market was in progress.

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The narrow bridge and plenty of traffic meant slow going as we made our way through the pretty town of Le Somail.

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When we passed through the town a bit we moored using two pegs. We ate the baguettes and salad fillings we had bought earlier for lunch. Karen, Anne and Suzanne did some of the driving then through four little villages.

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At points the view out to the vineyards and mountains beyond was lovely.

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By now we were becoming quite good at guiding the boat beneath the narrow bridges.

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We arrived at Argens about 3:30pm. This town was a base for one of the other companies

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so we elected to moor on the canal and use our generator. We went for an orientation walk around the town going uphill at first then down to a restaurant. Hoped for a drink but it was closed until 19:00. We stopped and looked at locals playing boules then crossed the bridge over the canal. Checked out shops and cafes on this side of the canal but all were closed. The view back to the other side was very pretty.

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Crossed back over to check out the Locaboat base café but it was closed too. So we returned through to our boat for tea, wine and beer o’clock. I rang and reserved a table at La Guinguette restaurant for 19:00 as it seemed to be the best option. When we arrived the staff were finishing off their meals ready for a busy night. There were lots of good choices on the menu. Karen ate a starter plate – cold gazpacho soup, salads and dips.

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I ate cuisse de grenouilles (frogs’ legs), deliciously cooked in a white wine and garlic sauce, but fiddly. The young waitress had several options to tempt us for dessert. I ate a dessert of a custardy brûlée. Yummy. After paying our bill we walked back to our boat. We chatted and planned for the next day’s short journey to Homps. It had been another great day.

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