2011 Hogarths on the move again - to places afar travel blog

One of the locks

Hanging on in the lock

Toby and Kim riding in the forest

We set off on our first real day on the boat. Our first challenge a set of four locks. Much easier than the English locks – these are automatic and once we are set and tied all we need to do is hit the green button and the correct gates shut and the water starts to reduce. We follow a guy whose job it is to deliver the hire canal boats to different destinations along the canal – where was I when that job was given out?

We continue along the canal at a leisurely pace of 8 knots, very little other traffic which is nice. Every now and then we have a lock to navigate just to keep us interested. We have been told that if we were in the midi region the traffic is such that a wait of a couple of hours is not unusual at the locks.

The canal is usually lined with native vegetation or rows of poplars. Depending on the height of the banks we can sometimes see the crops and farm houses and barns – haven’t seen much livestock though did hear some sheep or goats in the background. Most notable is the sound of the birds – never stops.

We eventually arrive at our destination Bezut sur Baise. (Baise is the name of the river that meets the canal here).

Kim and Toby get on the bikes and Megan and I walk into the little village. A quick wander, I purchase some books, the others post cards, then a ‘limonade’ and ice cream at the local café before doing a shop at the Supre Marche.

We cook up our evening meal and eat at the tables in the park before another evening ride for David and Megan and myself. We pass a beautiful garden and in the midst is an old tractor so the other two stop to investigate whilst I ride up to the next lock and back.

The old man in the garden sells his flowers and is pleased to start the old tractor and allows photographs.

Its time to charge the computers, camera batteries and mobile phones – while we are moored in a port and have access to power and wifi (or as the French call it – weefee)

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