We’re in the south of France on a barge canal boat with our friends Rick and Eva. Yes, it’s a boat and we’re on the water but it’s a wide, squatty modern boat on a narrow strip of water.

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View from our B&B in Carcassonne

The Canal du Midi was built during the time of Louis XIV and crosses from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. It’s an amazing feat of engineering with many (many!) locks that help you traverse the waterway.

We started our journey by driving to the Miami airport through terrific thunderstorms only to find out that our flight was delayed. The airport had closed because a tornado touched down nearby. The plane we were supposed to be on had to land in West Palm.

We were finally on our way 4 hours later which resulted in missing our connection in Madrid. Leaving much later from Madrid and arriving in Marseilles, we tried to make the last train to Carcassonne. Despite the valiant efforts of our taxi driver, we missed the train by about 10 minutes.

After a restful night in Marseilles and a leisurely 3 hr train ride we met up with our friends in Carcassonne.

We stayed at a lovely B&B called La Posada del Castillo situated just below the massive walls of the medieval castle. The hosts were so friendly and helpful, not to mention the fabulous tapas dinner served on the patio with the view above!

We toured le cite and when we had seen enough, stopped at a wine bar to refresh.

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Cassoulet for lunch

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Eva and I bought matching espadrilles

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Tapas dinner

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The next morning we took a taxi ride to the charter boat basin at Homps. After a grocery run and boat review, we were off! Our first lock was just a short distance away. We were a little unsure the first time but caught on quickly. Rick drove the boat while Skip and Eva handled the lines. I jumped off to wrap lines around the bollards and push the boat away as the water went down.

We made it through 5 locks before stopping along side the canal just before Argens-Minervois.

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We celebrated Skip’s birthday with a fine dinner of wine, cheese, pate, salami, bread and apple tart. After only a few days here I’m amazed at the quality of the food. It’s all fresh, local and not terribly expensive.

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It’s raining this morning and the lock tenders are on strike for the day. Guess we’ll hang out here…c’est la vie!

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