Well, this is what I’m doing now!!
No time to blog at all!! But also very few opportunities because it is not easy getting on the Internet in France.
But here I am, with 3 others, in Southern France, on a friend’s boat. A serious boat at 30 ton, so a big responsibility. This photo is from Golfech, a lovely little town where we stayed a few nights. The last 3 nights have been in Agen. Now we are just moseying back to Mossaic. We might stop again at Golfech if there is room at the harbour.
Each year, my twin sister, Shirley, paints pictures from LeTour which she really likes to watch on TV. It’s like plein air painting, but from the other side of the world, and with the aid of photography. 🙂
She then uploads a picture of the painting to eBay and sells them. On eBay Shirley’s name is Sannpet.
There is a series of 4 locks climbing up a hill into Agen. There is a small pound between each lock, like a glass pond when we went through because there weren’t many other boats. It was a great way to end our trip from Valence-sur-Baise. At the top of the locks we crossed the flooded Garonne River on a very long aquaduct and then boated next to peak hour traffic to the harbour in the middle of town. Great fun!
Shirley sitting beside the tow path, painting the view.
View of the Canal du Garaonne and the flooding Garonne River and valley.
We’re still on the Canal du Garonne only because the rivers are flooding. Our plan was to cross the Garonne River and have a look at the Lot River, but both are closed to our hire boat. Luckily the canal is very picturesque and we have really enjoyed it. Yesterday evening, just after the rain stopped, we went for a walk up the steep hill into town. From the lookout there is this fantastic view of the Garonne valley. Today Shirley and I went for a bike ride on the tow path and stopped for a short while to do a painting.
Today was May Day in France which is a very well observed holiday. Everything was closed, including cafes and restaurants … but our port’s captains were English, and they didn’t mind opening their little office which doubles as a bar! This afternoon we enjoyed a drink at their establishment. Part of the fun was WIFI access, and I downloaded a 360 photo app for my phone. Hence this wonky photo! It is of us sitting under an umbrella on the edge of the canal. In the background is a narrow boat, a few of them are moored here, ready for hire.
Arriving at Condom by boat is just amazing. It’s a beautiful, ancient town, and the harbour is quiet and peaceful, especially at this time of year. It wasn’t crowded at all, and we could moor any where. Getting off the boat and being right in the middle of town without having to find anywhere to park is brilliant!
We arrived here one afternoon and were entertained by the dramatic emptying of all the locks that are lined up like a giant staircase.
Here is an interesting excerpt from Wikipedia:
Though Pierre-Paul Riquet rightly receives so much credit and acknowledgement for the creation of the Canal du Midi, we may forget that many individual parts of the canal were built by subcontractors other than Riquet. The subcontractors for these locks were two illiterate brothers, Michel and Pierre Medailhes. Many of the workers were women. (^ Mukerji, Chandra (2009). Impossible Engineering. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14032-2.)
This was a very interesting area. I wrote about the Etang de Montady when we were there! This is a short movie of the tunnel. The boater’s guide book said it was easy, and it was, you just needed a loud horn on the boat. I was very pleased that we were able to follow a boat through that wasn’t shy about using it. I’ve deliberately lowered the volume on this movie because our chatter is not all that interesting. Better to play your own music!
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