We rented a canal boat from Le Boat company in Le Mas d'Agenais. The package is called 'The History and Heritage Cruise', although we were not restricted to any particular itinerary.
We started a bit late on Friday July 17th, after driving from Blaye and provisioning in Marmande. First leg up the Canal lateral de Garonne towards Damazan was limited by the locks closing at 7pm. On the canal we could stop wherever we wanted.
First night on the canal
Learning about the long lunch in a shady restaurant - Vianne
Pretty girls in Vianne
Mary Poppins at Vianne
Exploring by bike
George posing for a Pfizer advert on a bike ride near Vianne.
At Buzet we took a lock to move from the Canal Lateral de Garonne, to the river Baïse. Different types of lock, and fewer places to tie up.
Chateau on the banks of the River Baïse
Under Barbaste railway bridge
Evening meal at Barbaste
Fireworks at Barbaste castle
Fleurette statue at Nérac. She was the teenage mistress of the teenage Prince Henri, who later became the first Bourbon king. She killed herself after he dumped her. Her name 'Fleurette' gave rise to the word 'flirting'.
Nérac bridge and lock
Come and have some lunch, guys! Nérac.
Castle of Henri IV (1589 - 1610)
Nérac bridge at night
Nérac night market. A lot of fun with food stalls, and live music. People friendly and happy to have photos taken of them. Right beside where we were moored.
Nérac is a delightful town. Some readers will know the film 'Chocolat', which stars Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. It is based on the book by Joanne Harris, who has said that Nérac was an inspiration for the fictional village. She used to have holidays there as a child. More from Joanne Harris here.
Girl at night market enjoying a cornet
Crepe seller - night market
Jewellery seller - night market
Singer in an Eric Clapton cover band - night market
Paul grooving on music with his cigar
The canal bank en route to Le Mas d'Agenais
Early morning downstream of Le Mas at Pont de Sable
Some of the crew escaping the heat in a canal-side bar - Meilhan sur Garonne
George - contra-jour
Meilhan sur Garonne
Panorama of the Garonne river and canal
Sunrise over the Garonne valley
On Friday July 24th, we reached the end of the canal, where it joins the part of the Garonne River which is navigable to the sea, past Bordeaux into the Gironde Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. This is at the town of Castets-en-Dorthe. By another stroke of luck, we arrived when there was another night market.
Man in market
Kay with her vaper
Surreal matchstick museum, with Palace of Versailles built by Gerard
A short video of the cruise on the Garonne Canal in SW France. HD version here.
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