Monday, 17 December 2012

Carcassonne Winter 2012

Dec 12

Arrival in Carcassonne on Halloween was blighted by a mooring mix up, but Stephanié was apologetic and everything settled into the previous winter slots.

Tricia and Nigel - the neighbours
Normally our first few weeks in Winter moorings are spent exploring the new town and meeting new boaters, but it was same bargees and shops so it was straight into the usual routine, Peter was busy doing boat maint and Angie set up her Pilates and French classes.  The latter is now held intermittently in a local café at midi and the French tutor feels that conversation flows more freely aided by alcohol! No noticeable improvement in Angie's French though she is convinced 'total immersion' is the answer,

Theee Sagar's in a row - top that
Peter went beserk on the internet ordering everything from books to boat bits (the joy of having a postal address).  The shock of overuse killed off the PC - which had been slowly expiring anyway  - so he bought a new Toshiba 'All In One'.  He then took the old Sony to bits, got new optical and hard drives etc and rebuilt it - we now have a spare PC to Angie's disgust (Angie would have liked an iPad).

Kes has only been left on the bank once in three years (accidentally) but he must feel we are trying to discard him because as soon as the engine is started he sprints for his onboard navigation spot - quite funny when it just the monthly engine 'run up' - or perhaps he too is ready to move on already,

How do we get a sculpted outline like that?
 The winter diesel delivery took ages as the tanker driver only had a big hose nozzle, so all 450 litres went in using a funnel - Peter felt faint at the bill, but had enough money left over to take Angela to the local Italian restaurant that night. Very cheap and cheerful - an Italian owner/chef and an attractive female waitress.  Angie had Spaghetti aux Fruits de Mer which comprised a very large platter heaped with langoustine, crab, mussels, squid and assorted fishy bits - by the time she got to the pasta she was flagging despite being fuelled by the recommended Chianti.  Must go back!

The Winterer's party was a bit cold and thin on the ground - our only étrangers were Ricardo and Colette from 'Ricoheba'.

The closure of the canal meant that the VNF could extract some of the dying Plane trees - at 20 a time it is going to take xx years to do it all.

A bit ugly and bleak without trees
Also a chance to do other canal maint

A shallow ditch
Carcassonne seems a bit subdued this year, though we did have a vintage car rally on the canal side.  Angie wasn't sure if the driver was looking for talent but decided those days were past :(

Kes drags us out for a couple of hours a day and the Cité and the River are a good circular route.


River Aude

With the imminence of Christmas all the boats are decked with lights and we hosted Winter drinks - Peter attempted his first home made puff pastry, all the mince pies/jam tarts/cheese straws etc were scoffed so it must have been OK (though the vin chaud may have helped).

We had to rescue a stray dog on the point of expiring from the ecluse, then  a couple of coypu decided to set up winter quarters there,

The lady running the local Dog Rescue Home (A Brit of course)  is a member of Angie's Pilates class - lots of nice dogs but Angie has been banned from visiting on the grounds Kotare is too small for a dog pack! If you are on the Midi

Nigel on 'Sirius' is a train spotter and saw/heard this lovely old steam train in the Station (doing a festive shopping run) it pulled onto the canal bridge to fill up with water - luckily not from the canal but a canalside hydrant.

The boat is decorated with massed Christmas cards and our festive season has really fired up - Anniversary, Angie's Birthday, Christmas all in a week - then the diet!  So the next blog update won't be until Peter can get close enough to the keyboard to type.

A Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2013.

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