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!
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.)
We moored at Carrcassone about midday, and plugged into electricity to charge batteries straight away. This is our penichette, a great little boat.
In one afternoon, we walked across town and up the hill to the medieval village inside a castle wall. The place was restored in the 19th century, apparently not very accurately, but it was still very interesting. I didn’t have my camera because my 3 batteries were flat, so there are no photos at the moment for the blog. But just imagine a castle and you’ve got it.
This photo is in our 2nd lock. It is of another boat that we made friends with. This lock was a double lock, too difficult for tourists, so they have 2 men to do the work. That’s why I’m on the boat taking this photo. My job has been to jump off the boat and put the key in the lock to open the gates.
On this, our first day on a canal we went 10km and through 4 locks. We had to stop at Condom to have lunch and buy some food. It was such an interesting town we stayed there the rest of the day. … no didn’t notice any post boxes!!