August 2006 River Baise

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Village of Nerac and it's wonderful moorings we enjoyed visiting here many times this month.

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Nerac is on the river Baise it's 46km long with 17 locks from Buzet to Valence-sur-Baise

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Nerac is now added to our list of favourite mooring towns we have come across, much to see and do, though we just seem to chill when we arrived it is one of those towns that you want to take it all in, especially the colourful Sat market filled with things to taste and try, wonderful buildings & Chateau to admire, much crafts & art sold here.

A great drive which ever direction you come from magnificent scenery catches your attention, we enjoyed historical sites, bastide towns, abbeys. Grand wines from around this area and of course this region is world famous for it's gastronomy, it has all the charms including the weather.

Sheila's birthday celebrated with a lunch in Nerac

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Sheila was unable to bring her boat Chatelaine along the river in July as only boats with 90cm draft allowed due to lack of water, she was disappointed. John & I decided to drive from Villeton to Meilhan pick her up and bring her to Nerac for a birthday lunch, at least she could see the port & river as we followed it by car. We enjoyed drinks back in the port of Meilhan before driving back along the canal in the evening, we had a good day.

The following day we set off back to Buzet a good port for leaving the boat. I thoroughly enjoyed cycling the 14km here and John cycled back to Villeton for the car. We enjoyed some restful days some needed chill out time before flying from Bergerac to Liverpool.

Enjoyed a wonderful cruise on river Baise at times you could collect fruit either side.

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We stocked up with some good food on the drive back from the airport all was well with Moet on our return.

We set about getting ready for our weeks cruise on the river once we had rested from our Liverpool party week.

Our journey on the Canal Garonne and River took us to the villages of Buzet-sur-Baise, Vianne, Lavardac, Nerac & Condom (yes Condom) we so enjoyed the river Baise which thankfully had enough water for us to cruise this week, some rain did fall in August mostly during the night, not as warm as July, thank goodness.

 

Parents sat relaxing as Louise took the boat into a lock with ease under Mikes guidance 10 out 10

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We thoroughly enjoyed our week and as usual we did a lot together. Louise & Mike were learning new songs, John even had time to learn some notes on the guitar as we cruised enjoying his lessons from Louise & Mike, John wants a guitar for Xmas now! Nice to have live music on board again and hear laughter from our children.

The song "The book of love" was sang many times on this trip... sometimes in Liverpudlian slang.

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Much wild life here on the river "kingfisher alley" I watched a kingfisher dive for a fish, and enjoy his catch on the Canal Garonne sadly no camera to hand. I was forever hearing "wow" did you see that animal or bird, we collected fruit growing along the banks even risking falling off the boat to reach some good blackberries, also wonderful plums.

We had colourful skies and starry nights, many wonderful picnic places to stop along this river, out came the crystal, china, Buzet wine and the BBQ just fitted on table too, we would savour food and family time chatting together. even the rainfall never dampened our spirits and we continued eating out what ever the weather, thanks to our new sun & rain umbrella.

Collecting berries as we travelled......our new brolley for BBQ in rainy weather worked a treat.

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The locks on this river fill far too quickly fierce at times, we had to tie the boat up very well.

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This lock was very tricky to get into from a bridge but John managed it with much easy, he surprises me on many occasions how well he handles our boat in many situations.

We met Jeff from Isle of man who owns a lock house here on river Baise, he invited us all in to see his home and 12 acres of his land, I picked fruit & veg from his plot, and John enjoyed visiting his workshop at side of his home its filled with every tool known to man I am sure.....he sent us on our travels with veg & fruit for a week and a wonderful gift of a hand carved wooden bowl he had made. such is the kindness of the people we meet.

The banks on this river are private and Jeff explained a great deal to us. We continued our cruise back to Buzet, visiting some different villages on our way back, river is very quiet no private boats only hire boats and not too many of them during our week, we would do this river again, we were glad of Louise & Mikes help with the locks filling so fast.

All too soon we where having our last night with Louise & Mike in Buzet.

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Nice to have family over and have time together but it was too quickly over and we were driving Louise & Mike to Bergerac airport in a fog and mist (in my eyes too) it was very early morning, like a September morning. Louise & Mike enjoyed a good flight home in spite of all the extra security at the moment in airports. They had many plans and were looking forward to celebrating Mikes birthday together, before Louise returns to Canada.

John & I enjoyed some time alone, gathering ourselves together again before meeting up with friends and cruising on the canal again we are now heading for the Bordeaux area.

John & Knud setting off for 50km bike ride to river Lot watched by James & Jean

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Towards end of August was spent in the port of Villeton meeting up with James & Jean again we had first met in Castelnaudary beginning of the season (they bought an ex hire boat here 5 years ago) we enjoyed 5 days together.

Enjoyed a night out in the car to Vivian for a meal and to explore the Fri night market on the river Baise. We enjoyed shared meals with Jean, James also Knud & Erika from Australia, Knud loaned his spare road bike to John and they enjoyed a 50km cycle ride bringing the joys of road biking again to John, he's now looking for a road bike.

We collected some wonderful fruit especially the figs from trees, different jams made & swapped with lots of new recipes this month.

James & Jean moving off soon followed by Erica & Knud.

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Erica & Knud's boat Linquenda & Canal Garonne in mixed weather.

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Visitors joined Erica & Knud from Denmark soon setting off in showery weather as you can see in the photo, they are now heading slowly for the Canal du Midi, they bought their boat "La Linquenda" after cycling around France looking for the right boat, they are now enjoying their retirement and spending summer's here in France. One of the joys of boating is meeting such interesting new people making new friends enjoying the moment and changing plans to enjoy the here and now... what plans John!

House hunting in the Lot & Garonne area with help from Irish couple David & Pam

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We met many couples from all over the world during August, some have bought homes here and settled or just spend time here when ever they can.

David & Pam seen here in front of their holiday home, invited us to their home and shared their experience of buying and turning their property into a home with a pool enjoying sharing this with their children & grandchild, they also took us to see a friends house on the river to show us what has been done from a shell. We would like to have a go at renovating here in France if we found the right property, we have started to visit homes for sale, so you never know what's around the bend.

Tobacco and grapes growing in this area, visited this home with tobacco leaves drying in garage...

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Anniversary today 2 years in France and we are still enjoying.

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