July 2008 - Visiting the Upper Lot River area

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Happy Birthday to our Eldest daughter - Teresa usually hides when camera comes out.

Teresa had a wonderful birthday back in Manchester with her friends, she was thrilled with this incognito photograph our friend Willem designed for her. Teresa hides when the camera comes out - she is very difficulty to photograph.

I loved wandering around may fields of sun flowers trying to take the perfect photograph for Teresa's birthday.

July was stunning for colour this year the flowers were exceptional. Perhaps because we traveled more kilometres in the car this July than we have before... the villages were brimming with colourful flowers, each one better than the last.

27th Cahors Blues Festival, staring Bill Wyman & Rhythm kings.

We had a wonderful few days site seeing in Cahors city. Booked into a hotel and booked tickets for the Blues festival on here. Our favourite night was Steve Big man Clayton. Bill Wyman : (rolling stones) Albert Lee, Georgie Fame,

The concert was a sell out, we enjoyed such a memorable night of Blues.

The Rhythm kings had so such fun when on stage. We enjoyed watching this band in practice earlier in the day. Cahors is such a beautiful city to explore.

Cahors historic Pont Valentré bridge upper river Lot was a delight especially at night.

Pont Valentré bridge on the River Lot at Cahors

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie our BB & place of rest - great hosts & views

One of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie's best-known citizens was the writer André Breton, who was moved to compare the village with the sublime poetry of Rim baud. Perched high on a cliff above the River Lot, this is one of the most picturesque villages in France and was voted the first village of the most beautiful villages (143 villages now hold this title). Its half-timbered houses and very hilly cobbled streets was something of a magical fairy tale, the atmosphere and beauty of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is remarkable.

This village retains a medieval atmosphere, we stayed for two nights here on our second visit. It was so un crowded for July, the village is at its best early morning or late in the afternoon. The view from our bedroom was stunning.

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is a historical monument.


the village towers 80 metres above the river Lot

We joined Keith & Pat a week later for a cruise on the Upper Lot, this was a truly memorable experience traveling with our hosts on Alwyn.

Our cruise was very different to the lower Lot - the locks are all manual with many turns and big gates to open. Hard work in the heat, but most enjoyable, reminded us of cruising in England (without the weather). The upper Lot cruising is for the fit & healthy.

Our hosts enjoyed showing us the best cruising spots on the upper Lot.

Navigable Upper River Lot from Luzech to Larnagol, July 2008 - Lower River Lot map

Navigable Upper River Lot map

BBQ time on the upper Lot with Keith & Pat

 

We took in the sun set after a good cruise and blissful BBQ evening We enjoyed drinks with the owner of our BB.

André Breton the surreal artist who made his home in 1950 said "every morning, when I get up, I have the impression of contemplating through my window the very best of art, nature and life".

I could not agree more my camera nearly over heated I took over 2,000 photographs this month.

Oh dear it has been a hot month thankfully we could jump into the river here.

"River Lot has got the Lot" one reporter said, we all agreed this river is very special indeed.

 

Bouzies enjoys a scenic location on the edge of the Lot River. As we crossed the river at Bouzies we took some time to look back across the bridge and see the medieval buildings constructed into the walls of the canyon above the small tunnel. This was also the departure point for many boat trips and to hire a boat for a holiday, one person did hand the boat back due to ill health and not being able to manage the locks, they thought they had hired a boat on the canal du Midi were all the locks are worked for you.

Tow path carved out along the river

Arwyn could fit almost anywhere and the rocks and shallows were of no problem to Keith & Pat or their boat. Our first day was spent cruising from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie (194) to the end of the Lot at Larnagol (Pk 206). - click click went my camera. Following day we cruised Saint-Cirq-Lapopie to St-Gery (Pk 181).

We enjoyed cruising through centuries of history. The drive on the roads cut through this rock later was just as thrilling both sides of the river.

An aqueduct built in Roman times was built by the Celtic people so I was told. This aqueduct was used to carry water to the town of Cahors. Construction started in 1AD and took over 400 years to build. This aqueduct can be seen in the cliffs above the village of Vers.

Ganil lock near Bouzies - Pat examines the carvings in the rock face.

 

Between Bouzies & Saint-Cirq-Lapopie a towpath was carved into the rock face (1841-1843) such impressive work. 10 men lost their lives when their boat overloaded with rock spoil overturned and capsized. A sculptor Daniel Monnier recently embellished this rock with his vision of the river Lot showing it's fauna and it's swirling waters some are highly polished. The wild life was just great both ends of the river, especially when John spotted a red Deer at the side of the river, sadly camera was not in my hand at the time.

Great places to swim on the river Lot - we enjoyed a swim after our days cruising

Swimming was such a pleasure and a nice way of cooling down, the beaches are very busy at weekends. Keith & Pat will come back to cruise this river again one day - it's like fine wine - take your time and enjoy. Pat & Keith are now on their way back to the start of the upper Lot at Luzech were they have left their car and trailer - middle of next month they will take Arwyn back to Oxford. Thanks a million for our wonderful experience.

Sleeping is not always easy in the heat of the night some boaters prefer the top of their boats.

Many more hire boats on the upper lot, though I am sure as each section of the river comes closer to linking up. More hire boat companies will open up offices here, though they will have to have more moorings I am sure to add, some are not suitable for larger boats. The upper Lot has many smaller rivers that join this river, long narrow gorges that cram both sides of this river, small roads and dwellings into impossible spaces.

I loved the extravagant twists and turns on this river. Looking up or looking down from the valleys it's special. We also experienced such good weather on this river and the Lot poised us no problems.

Meeting up with friends Ursula, Mike, Sylvie also Len & Lynn on the river Baise.

 

We arrived back onto the river Baise and found a very peaceful mooring indeed.

The neighbour of a house near our mooring introduced himself and said please feel free to use our swimming pool - we kindly took him up on his kind offer and enjoyed a swim with Ursula Mike & Sylvie (Bon Adventure was moored near by in Buzet port) we all enjoyed a BQ side of Moet in the evening. Our neighbour then brought us ripe fresh figs from his tree. We had a wonderful outing to Nerac the next day.

Len & Lyn joined us for a meal when we arrived in Buzet, no news on the house we put the offer on in the village of Serignac.

Gosh it was so hot last few days we had to cover up well - the thought of the pool near kept me cool.

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