August 2007 Family cruise in the Camargue

Double deck boat for Sale due to poor weather & flooding of the rivers in England

Son Michael sent me this photo not sure were it came from. I thought I could share it with you. We have seen some different floating homes but we thought this was unusual. Friends Bernie & Warren said they booked a holiday on something similar in Canada.

Michael and partner John prefer the comfort of the Moet and booked a flight into Nimes from Liverpool and joined us for five sun filled days. Fed up with the rain in Manchester. they donned their tee shirts and enjoyed.

John and I enjoyed a scenic drive into Nimes town we also managed to do some shopping at a big Hyper-U (we just left enough room for the boys bags). We drove onto the airport to pick Michael and partner John up - it was a bank holiday here in France so the roads were nice and quiet and we had no problems with traffic at all.

Getting in the holiday mood with some bubbly for Michael's early birthday celebrations

We un-packed the car of all the goodies they brought with them for us. One present was a solar panel window spinning crystal. It works wonderful and has pride of place on my kitchen window, though I do move it around depending were the sun is. This crystal brings wonderful colours into the boat and lots of good energy.

We settled down to enjoy the sun with some good food, we tried the local figs with goats cheese and some Champaign. Michael burnt his knees first day - not realising how hot the sun can be, even so late in the day.

We chatted away and caught up with all the family news and gossip and the meeting of each families. John wanted a birthday list.

Day out in the cite exploring. Mike also exploring with photoshop.

Michael had some fun with this BW photograph in my photoshop programme, the back ground is movement I think. I would love to have more time to go on a course in dreamweaver or photoshop - perhaps a winter project some time. I never have enough time to do all I would like to do.

Michael took the photo of John & I below (my camera) we are enjoying a coffee, he also gave some photos a different edge and it brought the artist out in him. Partner John bought him a negative printer for his birthday so it should save him money as he does not use a digital camera and can it can cost a great deal in having a Cd made for him to print his own photos.

John & I love sharing our life with our family and friends it's one of life's most wonderful pleasure's for us. It can be hard work planning where to moor, collect our car as we prefer to meet our visitors at the airport - Finding out which airport they can fly too. It's all so worth the effort from everyone. We are so grateful to the cheap air lines that fly our family out, though not so cheap for this visit unfortunately Mike & John paid full fare, they thought it worth it. We have been most happy on this coast never dreaming we could ever have our canal boat so near to the beaches.

Merlin 2 arriving in Aigues-Mortes

I like this photograph of Merlin. The boat owner Mick (taught me how to cook Tiger prawns on our BBQ) his brother in-law Kevin getting ready with ropes as they cruised into the port.

This photograph also shows a good view of the famous tower, standing 33 metres high, we climbed the stairs to get better views of Camargue.

Exploring the La Tour de Constance and wall's

Its name owes it's self to Constance, sister of Louis V11 King of France, who married a Count of Toulouse 100 years before the founding of Aigues-Mortes.

The name was given to the tower to celebrate the alliance of Languedoc with the Kingdom of France. Sadly no English history information to hand while we toured the this tower - sadly they had ran out.

I bought a book later to read up on the Ramparts and the history. I made many photos greeting cards while here. We had to get back out side the boys needed sunshine, and a beer was calling them they said.

Top deck of The Moet - dinning for the boys, we used the top hatch for food delivery.

We enjoyed traveling the Maritime canal Our journey with Michael & John took in the Camargue wild life. Michael & I share a love of photography and took some good photos.

We moored across from the bull ring (no killing) and enjoyed the music from the show 3 hours. We had our first dinner party on the top deck. Mooring fee here was 10 euro's a night no matter what size boat, no water or electric here as yet.

The Maritime canal to the town of Grau du Roi lends itself today to all forms of navigation, barges, fishing boats and yacht's making their way to the sea. Our cruise from Aigues-Mortes to this fishing port, was most appreciated. Especially cruising past the Camargue firm of 'Salins-du-Midi' with it salt heaps one of the largest sea-salt production's - good view's of the salt flats from our top deck. the boys sunbathed most of the journey, though they both enjoyed being captain during their stay giving John a rest.

Michael guiding the moet through the boat jam as we turn into river Vidourle at le Grau du Roi

We set off but I think everyone else had same idea. We explored the river Vidourle which also takes you to the canal du Rhone a Sete.

River was silted up in parts and we decided not to go all the way, but enjoyed the cruise, this river is very wide in parts, we did not fancy getting grounded here.

Moules & frites overlooking the beach after a stroll around The Grau du Roi.

River Vidourle at le Grau du Roi

We ventured out on to the river Vidourle from the fishing port were they can lift very big boats out here - We read three different books on cruising here and asked around for information on this river - no information available. One book said the river Vidourle was navigable all the way to the canal du Rhone a Sete and another book said don't venture out it is now silted up. One says take extra care so we did.

We tread very carefully keeping a careful eye on the depth. We decided not to take any chance and to travel back again and go the long way around no point in getting grounded here. A private sailing boat was following us and we told them to turn around too. We would not advise others to cruise here.

Evening view of Canal du Rhone a Sete from Aigues Mortes through the Camargue.

We cruised from here along the canal du Rhone a Sete to Palavas-les-Flots a modern beach resort we then turned off and joined the river Lez. We cruised the river Lez for the first time it is filled with the most fish I have ever seen - at one point they were jumping into the side our boat - we thought they would jump right into our fore deck.

River Lez our present from this family - lunch freshly caught and pre-pared for us.

I was looking forward to staying in modern port of Ariane and visiting Lattes, only 6km from Montpellier on the river Lez. This never happened as when we arrived at the La Troisieme lock we were told by phone sorry port full can't let you through lock unless you live here or you are returning a hire boat, (it was a Saturday). We should have booked. I was so disappointed not to have gone through this lock which only re-opened in 1996. This river was private and the navigable part from Montpellier to the sea was finally handed over in 1980 to Montpellier.

My disappointment was soon lifted as we found a good mooring on the only pontoon on the river Lez below a storks nest.We watched flamingos fly low over the river at sunset a magic moment not caught on camera.

We watched this family who were on holiday catch many fish all evening it was the little girl's job to hold on to the fish when dad put them in the bag the faces she pulled as the fish jumped about made us laugh so much - I was supplying them with orange juice and biscuits, they brought us much joy watching them fill their nets in front of our boat. The family returned the following morning very early and caught many more fish - they presented us with three large mullet fish for lunch. The father showed me how to prepare and cut the fish (I could not do this). Thank you for the drinks they said as we set off again on our return journey.

Wild horses by Etang de Mauguio on the Canal du Rhone a Sete

Michael risked falling in the canal when we tried to moor up we could not get far in enough at the bank but he managed to jump and secure us as it was such a good spot to BBQ nearest point to la Grande-Motte which is on the coast.

We moored just across from this hire boat to BBQ our fish - I was not really sure how to best to cook them so choose to foil wrap - it was a mistake as I over cooked the fish, but never the less we enjoyed. but watching fish being caught and gutted then cooking was not the same as buying fish - though the taste was good.

Michael cruised us back towards Aigues-Mortes and we enjoyed a great mooring once again.

All too soon it was time to return back to our port the boys were taking us out to dinner in Aigues-Mortes - So we wanted to be back in time for showers and to get into our glad rags. We had a wonderful meal but a long wait for it to arrive - the restaurant and town was so busy - but we all enjoyed our night out.

The last morning we visited the market early. John loves to shop and wanted to take some wine and goodies home with them for Michael's birthday and a present for his parents.

We enjoyed Sunday lunch in the bustling cite before they packed and we drove off to Nimes airport.We could not have asked for better company weather, surroundings, food or wine to share all this was magic.