Friday 4th September 2009
After breakfast we checked out and walked to the main train station. Two tickets from Toulouse to Lezignan-Corbiers, came to €38.00 for both of us. We arrived in this sleepy little town and found the only taxi driver at the café next to the station. He was having lunch. Priorities are different in France. He still had two other passengers to drop off before us. They were waiting for him to finish his meal. We decided to eat at the café too.
|Canal du Midi|
They served us each an enormous baguette with Brie, a coffee and a tea, all for €8.00. The presentation of the tea was a little different – I got a small cup of boiling hot water with a tea bag in it.
The drive to Loca-boat passed through ancient villages and vineyards that were planted way back in Roman times. One got the feeling life has not changed much in these villages. Local villagers sat outside their old stone homes and watched the world go by. A barking dog or a bicycle passing was about as busy as it got.
At Locaboat we had our handover and set off immediately as we needed to buy food and cleaning items. We tied up at the next village, Paraza, and asked some people walking past in our best pidgin French where we could find the local grocery store. They asked if they could speak in English. But of course!
|Our Penichette boat|
They said it wasn’t much of a store but directed us up the road. We scrambled up a thorny bank and meandered along lanes that twisted and turned until we found the local ‘epicurie’. One has to remember to look out for cars coming on the opposite side of the road in France or one can walk right into a car. We managed to buy the absolute basics and headed back for a quiet night on the canal. Sleeping well is a given in such tranquil surroundings
Saturday 5th September 2009
|At the Locaboat mooring|
Our plan was to head along the canal to Narbonne, track back, and then head in a different direction to our final destination, which was Negra. We stopped en route at Ventenac d’ Aude hoping to shop. Buying supplies was not as easy as we thought and our attempts to get guidance from locals proved amusing to all. At times it was like playing a game of Charades with a word or two thrown in and plenty of smiles.
We passed Le Somail and decided to brave it and eat at a bar/restaurant type place we saw close to the canal banks. Nice to be able to check out potential places to eat as you cruise the canals. I’m vegetarian and the French don’t get why anyone wouldn’t eat meat. However they served us a divine salad with warm goat cheese on bread, a demi-carafe or ‘pichet’ of wine, a bottle of water, a cheese platter to share with bread, and two coffees or cafes as they call them. Our meal excluding tip was €32.00.
Back at our boat we got going again. Further along the canal we decided to stop at Capestang. Voila! At Capestang we finally found a supermarket. And after a shop-up we promptly found an even nicer supermarket. C’est la vie!
We both went for a short run along the towpath. I stopped and ate wild black berries growing along the banks of the canal. Our mooring for the night was picture book perfect. There was a crowd of riverboats under a bright full moon. We could hear of the strains of other people chatting and cutlery on plates. Meanwhile we tucked into a meal of baguette, cranberries and Brie with a fresh vegetable salad. We both slept soundly.
Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.