Saturday, 12 July 2008


We left Carcassonne and headed north. We stopped in a small town along side the Canal du Midi as we followed it north to have a late  lunch. One thing France is not short of is excellent boulangerie or bakeries where you can buy anything from a baguette to a pastry or my personal favorite, a chocolate eclair. There are usually a fruit shop, a wine shop and a cheese shop nearby so voila, lunch.  
We were walking along one of the small canals off the main one when we spied a New Zealand flag and a barge called Whio or blue duck. I wonder if the owners are from NZ? No one was home on our way towards the lock for lunch but on the way back we met Neil and Ian from Pahiatua and stopped for a chat. 
Whio was built in NZ and shipped to Belgium and spent it's time plying the waters of Europe. It was an amazing barge, very big, a lot bigger than I had imagined a barge would be, comfortably sleeping eight people. 
Neil and Ian were experienced sailors and loved their time on the canals, a pair of very laid back New Zealanders enjoying an enviable life style. I took their photo so I hope they see this entry. They did ask me about my injury, funnily enough how much I'd had to drink, why do people think that about me? I told them they should see the other guy. 
I have always been amazed about how locks work and it was interesting to see them in action, three locks to get from the big canal into the one we sat alongside. These small towns in France are so interesting to visit, something that is easy if you travel the smaller roads but not so  possible from the A roads. 

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