June 2007 Agde to Narbonne

Sunrise as we leave our mooring in Marseillan on the Etang de Thau

We floated out of our mooring at 7am as the sun came up, thankfully the Etang was as you can see calm and peaceful, just a little ripple, Des & Janet followed us out - they headed for the canal du Rhone a Sete. We headed for the canal du Midi. We stopped just before the first lock for two very silent nights, peaceful indeed, nothing here except for the wind & rain. Web update time & some water colour painting.

We watched a storm come and go, you can just see it starting to come across the lake in this photograph glad we moved off the lake so early.

We were soon back in Port Cassafieres, near to the beach again - work on our canvas is now complete - getting the special clips is a problem, we will order some from Chris our Canvas Man in Otley Yorkshire. We decided to cruise on stopping in port Vias.

A peaceful afternoon cycle ride to Spar in Vias turned to panic - John's wallet is missing.

Not long after I took this photo of John he lost his wallet, Cycling back from Vias beach, we think it may well have fallen out of his pocket. We visited the police station, police were very helpful indeed, they held many lost wallets all of which had been handed in, sadly not John's, we made the phone calls to England to cancel our bank cards.

Thankfully all our new cards where delivered to us during our stay in England. We live in hope someone will post John's wallet back to us one day. I once had my lost purse turn up (minus money) one year later with cards and driving licence still in tact.

We wondered if this driver had a licence. This car has been here some time. Hundreds of camp sites in this area, with many private beaches, swimming pool's the camp site's are for guests only sadly.

Vias camping is so good some campers never go home! We had a great time exploring this coast line.

Our trip date to England arrived, busy packing again, we said good bye to friends in the port. We drove on to Andrea's house in Marseillette at 5am, she kindly drove us on to Carcassonne airport coming back for us 9 days later, it was great to have some time with Andrea to catch up and see all the progress being made on her house, we have seen many changes this month.

By chance we met our friend David from boat "Suki" in Carcassonne airport, he was saying good bye to his daughter - she was also flying to Liverpool. It was so nice to see David and meet his daughter. We flew to Liverpool - England for 9 day family holiday.

Sunshine and a full Sunday lunch on our Return to France - Canal du Midi on boat Meranti

We enjoyed having Dawn & Andy (boat Meranti) over for dinner before they left with a delivery of ex-hire boat - from Port Cassafieres to Castelnaudary, 157 km 64 locks this journey took them just over four long days it was for Crown Blue line (sadly this was unpaid work, Dawn also had to make up 2 days work time, and pay her own train fare back). We looked after their boat while they were away. Dawn & Andy looked after our boat when we were in England - Dawn cooked us a full Sunday lunch on our return a very relaxing day indeed for us. I brought the parsnips & gravy from England, it was such a big lunch we needed to work some of it off my waist line is ever increasing. Dawn & I booked some horse riding for next day to burn some calories off.

John took this photograph of Dawn & myself horse riding along the Canal du Midi

"Yes lets go for it"- Dawn had never been on a horse and my last experience was 32 years ago to the day when I was on my sister in-law's horse in Poole, Dorset (while on our honeymoon). We enjoyed our new experience, though my horse wanted to eat more than ride, but when he moved he moved, at one stage poor Dawn thought she was going over the horse's head into the vines at side of the canal, we were both a little saddle sore the next day. but so pleased we had the courage to have a go, Dawn looked like she had been horse riding all her life. We planned a cruise to celebrate 32 years married and spend time with friends.

Mid Summers Day a festival in Colombiers - Our Wedding Anniversary

Enjoyed a blissful cruise in glorious sunshine - followed by Champagne then an award winning dinner followed by a concert with free music & dancing in this port, it was such a memorable day, bliss cruising the 54k pound again no locks, great for cycling along here.

Capestang bridge - 400 year old vines and lots of wine tasting near this port.

John & I enjoyed a 9 day cruise for our wedding anniversary enjoying such good weather. We cruised to Narbonne & back to Cassafieres cruised around 150k plus 40 locks traveling on Canal du Midi & Canal de la Robine, meeting many holiday makers on boats from many different countries, so many people we met.

Cruising the Canal de la Robine

This was a new experience which we thoroughly enjoyed I walked/ cycled most of it. Friends Alan & Beate were at port Salleles-d'Aude on this canal and we enjoyed a 24 hours stop over with them, great to catch up enjoying their company. We moved onto Narbonne after lunch the following day, and we stayed in the hire boat port for two nights at a cost of 3 euros a night which was a bargain - including electric, my washing machine was busy in this port.

Moet Chandon meets "Grass Matinee Free" on Canal de la Robine - our arrival in Narbonne

We enjoyed a night out in Narbonne, the old part of town - fits snugly into 1km-by-750m rectangle, bisected north-south by the canal de la Robine, lots of medieval attractions which we did not have time for, but we will return here. We ate in our favourite restaurant called "En face" (meaning the other side).

We enjoyed a TGV train ride from Narbonne to Toulouse to meet David & Renate for lunch, their boat is in Moissac Port - problem was Toulouse was cold and it was raining and we turned up in our summer clothes, we had a good time together in spite of the weather.

Canal trip boat on "Manon" only sun umbrella's needed here this month.

The weather has been so different on the med coast to inland France also England.

Suki experienced a tree falling near their boat on the canal Garonne in bad weather, the fire brigade came to rescue David and friends, their exit out of the boat was blocked by some big branches, it was scary and made headline news.

Friends traveling the Rhone this month Kathy & Danny are not making any progress this week due to the high flow of water and flooding up north, seems we have been lucky, very little rain here, though we do get the winds from time to time, which drive John mad. Kathy & Danny are in a good place and will await for the right flow.

Fonseranes Staircase - Beziers was busy on our return and we baked in 40 degree sunshine.

We wanted to be back in Cassafieres before the end of the month as we are booked to be lifted out of the water the beginning of July and we had a party to attend, so we made hast cruising back, we wanted to be back at Cassafieres for our car.

It was so busy here in Beziers at the 7 rise we were held up for many hours, due to trip boats and hotel boats having priority, we were so glad we did not have the stress that three hire boats had, they were trying to get their boats back to base before evening. Some boats don't leave enough time for their return journey. Thankfully a lock keeper worked late and let us all through Portiragnes lock... we all made it back to Cassafieres Port at 9pm.

We did not want to miss Earl & Fiona's double celebration party and we needed our car for transport to drive back to Barge Colibri, she is moored in Marseillette, all enjoying a break between clients.

Earl bakes Fiona a special house/boat cake which he made, then cooks for 13 of us.

A new home in the village of Marseillette for this couple + Fiona's 40th birthday, which was last month. Earl was in-charge of feeding everyone he did Fiona proud.

We enjoyed staying over night with Andrea and her brother, enjoying an English bacon breakfast on her new terrace, work on her house is coming along very well. Andrea is enjoying having her brother Steve to help for next 10 days, much work planned too.

Fiona & Earl will start renovating their property in the winter months, we are still looking for a house!

We enjoyed the drive back to our boat still moored at Cassafieres on the canal side, not in the port. We love taking in all the picturesque villages so many around, especially when driving to see new villages, we never tire of this. We visited le Grau-d'Agde by car again to see about our lift out of the water next month, and to see what the lock times are at Adge lock as l'Herault is a tidal river.

Yavanna all spruced ready to go back into the water - unwanted guest aboard

We met Max & Vicki from Perth, Australia last year - they were working hard on their boat Yavanna, we arranged to be placed in their position (above) beginning of July. Four days had turned into two weeks for them, we have our fingers crossed just a few days more for them. We are booked to be out of the water for two weeks beginning of July for painting our boat, we hope this will be enough time.

Allemand boatyard - Le Grau d'Agde - Max and Vicki

We enjoyed catching up with Max & Vicki over a glass of wine. When we were leaving the top deck of Yavanna, Max spotted a Locust on his deck. Oh no I thought, I would not like to see this in my bed when I wake, could you imagine my scream. I did not like the look of this creature Max was trying to remove from his boat, "your not laying eggs here he shouted" it then jumped on me, I nearly fell off their boat, thankfully it flew off. Oh the Joy's of boating.

We arrived back to our boat quite late that day, setting off the following morning we only have 10k to our next destination Agde.

Agde is one of the most un spoilt towns on the Languedocian coast - our next port of call.