Unexpected events on Day 4 of our Canal du Midi boat trip

It’s funny how you lose track of the days when you are away. Now it was Tuesday. We got up about 8:00. Suzanne and I thought we would ride to the bakery but our neighbours told us the shop in town sold bread from the bakery so Karen joined us as we walked over the blue bridge to the shop and bought our baguettes. Made porridge on our return to the boat and ate some baguette. Charles used the wifi at the Le Boat office then we set off about 9:50.

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It was quite busy on the canal

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and as we approached the lock at Jouarres we had to join a queue.

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Once we entered the lock we could see that there were several boats coming the other way and having to wait also.

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As we had time to take the bikes off the boat Suzanne and Karen decided to bike ride the 6 kms to the next lock. Off they rode and off we drove.

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However, not that far along the canal there were tree works happening. (We found out that back in the Second World War ammunitions from the USA had been sent over on wooden crates. Apparently the wood had a fungus – Ceratocystis platani – which has been attacking the plane trees along the canal ever since. In time every tree – over 40000 – will have to be replaced.)

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We could see the tree works would hold them up so Charles did an about turn to pick them up. As it turned out the workmen had suggested going around the vineyard but Karen and Suzanne had taken a short cut through some vineyards where they picked some red grapes unbeknown to us. As we came back we saw Suzanne’s cap bobbing along in the middle of the adjoining vines. Shouted out to them and they rode out, bunches of grapes in hand!

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They kept riding to a nearby bridge and crossed over so we could pick them up at the next little town of La Redorte.

DSCN2084After that we drove through some quite open areas due to the tree removal.

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Newly planted trees to our left were quite evident. Apparently a mix of pine, poplar and oak trees are being planted.

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Next we came to Puichéric where we encountered a double lock.

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Continued to L’Aiguille but it was the lock keepers lunch break so we made salad and baguette for lunch. Still lunchtime so we checked out the amazing metal sculptures that the lock keeper Joël Barthe has created from reclaimed and recycled materials. Many were mechanised and triggered by sensors. Very entertaining and some were quite rude with boobs and penises. (More on this in a separate post.) We continued on through many locks – a double, a triple at Fonfile which I enjoyed driving through

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and another single lock at the edge of Marseilette. In Marseilette we parked alongside the canal.

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The six of us took a walk into town – one shop and a restaurant/bar plus apparently another restaurant back near the last lock we had come through. We bought quiches, lettuce and wine at the shop. Had a look around the town and made our way back.

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On board the boat had a beer and ate chips while preparing dinner. We heated up the quiches with the leftover pizza, made a salad and voilá, we had dinner, accompanied by a nice bottle of white wine. Tomorrow we would be in Carcassonne.

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