Friday, 19 August 2011

Toulouse to Castelsarrasin

Aug 11

Off from Toulouse along the last few km of the Canal du Midi heading west on a beautiful morning.  The first few ecluses through Toulouse central are centrally controlled so mind in neutral, waving to the commuters at the Gare du Central.

Toulouse central
Going underground
Then into the Port de L'Embouchure where the Canal de Garonne starts.  A very boring long straight run through industry, paralleled by the railway and only 'enlivened' by every second ecluse double red lighting and holding us up - in the end a long run to Grisolles. Back to rural living which Kes approved of - we could have done without the passing TGV's though which kept us awake.

Montech has a Pente d'eau for peniches paralleling the chain of five locks (built in 1974)  - we never saw it in action so still don't really know quite how it works.

Pente d'eau

We decided against an overnight stop on this prison pontoon.

Then into Castelsarrasin on a Thursday in time for the market - one of the biggest and most active we have seen.  A nice little port and at 5€ a night good value.

To our surprise, our newly married son had decided to drive down to see us (with wife and parents) so firstly a hasty internet shopping spree so he could bring all the heavy goods with him (hull paint for the Spring repaint job, a deck wash pump etc) and then reversing our steps back to Toulouse to meet up.Three days later Sylvianne at Port St Sauveur seemed pleased to see us again, so we tucked onto the end of a pontoon and looked for a car parking slot!

Port St Sauveur
Toulouse at night - almost upright
After four days eating too much, sweltering at night and tripping over each other (Kotare isn't really designed for 6 adults) the visitors departed and it was back to Castelsarrasin again - where we once again managed to sneak in just as a hotel barge pulled out.  Good planning as TV viewing is essential at the weekends now that the rugby season is getting serious. Peter has printed out the Rugby World Cup programme and has started  wearing All Black shirts.  This is 'rugby country' - all the bars have it on - and the French agree that the final should be NZ vs France (the only teams with 'style').

Pommies invading the world
The temperature is climbing steadily a deg or so a day - Saturday is forecast for 39 degC so if the rugby gets exciting and the beer doesn't do its job the air con might get switched on for the first time.

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