Friday, October 2, 2015

Traveling by Barge - Canal du Midi

There was a pattern to our days. In the morning we'd have breakfast and then Yves, the captain, would start us moving up the canal. We usually travelled from around 9:00 - 12:30. It was our opportunity to walk or bike along the canal and then the barge would catch up with us at the last lock. Some days were only a total of 4-5 kms, others 10-12 kms but one day we did much closer to 20 kms or so. There were stretches that were closed off so we had limits on where or how far we could go at times. Sadly there's a fungus spreading trough the main sycamore trees on the canal and try haven't found a way to stop it except by cutting down the trees and burning them. The trees are all over France but at the moment the fungus is only along this canal they hope to find a way to kill it but also to stop it here. Sure hope it works!

The canals were spectacular it was so like riding through Aunt Flos picture of the autumn canal (hanging up in our condo at the moment). The colors were stunning and ever changing, the bridges interesting and varied, the paths strewn with multi-colored leaves, the water clear with gorgeous reflections of sky and trees. A fairy book trip, for sure.

It wasnt enough to just cruise along the canal, we also had wonderful outings to various castles, chateaus, and vineyards in the afternoons. Joanne, jack-of-all-trades, followed us along in the van so that it would be ready to whisk us off to the days excursion. She has a fabulous sense of humor and a vast wealth of knowledge about the people of the region, the old settlements, as well as the wines produced across the region.

The first morning out I went for a sunrise walk - spectacular scenery and fortunately caught a couple of wonderful pictures - at least for me!

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