Sunday, July 3, 2011

A three day sojourn on the Canal du Midi

On Friday, we left Carcassone riding into a moderate headwind, but after 12 kilometers Dave noticed that we had passed over the canal and we could see that there was a small gravel road next to the canal. We turned back and started down the canal. It was clear that all the local traffic, horses and bicycles, were using the path. It eliminated the headwind and was cool and shady.

We continued on, but the track kept getting smaller and smaller. Finally, we were on a single track and bouncing over every tree root for several kilometers. At last we met the paved bike path and off we went to Villefranche. We had a wonderful dinner of cassoulet with duck and Toulouse sausage. We got up Saturday and continued on the bike path with a goal to get beyond Toulouse. We got through Toulouse (a city of 1.1 million) in an hour and 15 minutes on the canal bike path.

On the canal we saw barges with all sorts of purposes. The one pictured above is a music venue. We also saw barges as houseboats, bed and breakfasts and even a yoga studio.

We ended the day with a great meal in Girsolles. Today, Sunday, we started fairly early because we knew we had many kilometers to go to reach our friends Leo and Steph. Along the way we stumbled on a old west town.

Finally we turned off the canal and up into the hills to reach our friends house. Here is our last look at the canal we have followed for three days.

We paused in St. Maurin and Leo rode his bike to meet us and guide us the last 4 kilometers to his house.


Leslie said...

I'm loving the pictures on this trip! Something about those houseboats just calls to me...

Dave and Belinda said...

Canal boat is an attractive way to travel in France. The boats carry bikes so that during the day one can leave the boat, explore, and meet the boat for meals, naps, etc.