Friday, 11 May 2012

Wet April

What a month - we recorded 28 days of rain/showers without a break - then as though a switch had been pressed - May turned sunny. The first ducklings were mid April, later than we had expected but perhaps they had heard a weather forecast.  We missed the Garonne crossing to the River Lot by a day - not low water as we expected but floods. Probably just as well as the Rivers Baise and Lot were closed to navigation soon after the Crossing was.

Garonne in spate

a River Baise ecluse
In the hope that the rain would stop we pottered off west - once we went past Meilhan we were on new territory - Fontets marina wasn't very enticing in the rain

Fontets Marina
So on to the end of the Canal de Garonne at Castets en Dorthe - we weren't tempted to carry on to Bordeaux on the Garonne (it would have been a very fast trip - perhaps breaking our Rhone speed records).

End of the  Canal

Another church for our collection and there were lots of grandes maisons from the Canal high days.

Castets Chusch - note the puddles
Angie was enjoying the wildlife - her first Hoopoes and Purple herons and the occasional Egret.  On our way back we spent a few days at our favourite moorings, but not a lot of boat movement so plenty of space.  We passed Ken and Rhonda on 'Somewhere', now sold and they will soon be en route back to NZ. The Rivers were still high as we backtracked through Buzet - we managed a pleasant meal in the Port restaurant, but just failed to win the quiz night despite combining with the Marsland's off 'La Chouette'.   A quick visit to the Buzet Cave - just a few of this and a few of that ended up with 30 litres of wine to get on board! We must cut back on the visitors as it seems to evaporate rapidly. Then eastwards again.

Mas d'Agen
The sun shone in Agen - so a little touch up painting.

I knew educating girls would lead to trouble
We are really loitering as we don't have to be in Narbonne until the end of June, so we spent 5 days in Valence d'Agen where we enjoyed the large market, found the second wash house and met Stuart and Christine on 'Hilda May' - a Piper barge - but we let them share the mooring.

Valence - wash house No 2
'Hilda May' broke down with diesel problems 200m after leaving us  - but managed to carry on after an hour or two tinkering with the fuel system.  We pottered on to a new stop in Pommevic (free elec and water) but doomed as the Boulangerie has shut.

Pommevic Abbey
By now the rain was a distant memory (though the Garonne is still closed). The best Fish and Chips in France are in Moissac so a long weekend - Angie sunbathing and Peter and Kes moaning about the sudden 30 degC + temperatures. Angie has booked a hair appointment with her favourite Gallic hairdresser and squandered all the 'housekeeping' in her favourite butcher - just as well we are not 'wintering' here.

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