Saturday 1st July we wake up to strong winds so after a run we decide to cast off and travel the short distance to La Somail hoping for a bit of shelter and find a mooring tucked by a bridge – the downside being hire boaters taking out their boats for the first time seem to think the best approach to going through a bridge is at speed. We encounter a few bumps but no harm done.
La Somail was once one of four staging posts taking passengers from Agde to Tolouse on a four day trip which cost £6. The passengers didn’t have an easy ride as at each double or triple lock they had to disembark with their luggage and carry it either up or down the length of the locks to reach the next boat – this occurred a total of 25 times per trip.
There is also an amazing antiquarian bookshop which resembles a labyrinth containing cheap paper back to rare editions. As we seem to be in the mood for eating out once again we are lucky to be given the last table at L’O á la Bouche – definitely think birthday celebrations should last at least a week.
On the recommendation of Charles and Pam (Xenia) we decide to moor on Sunday at The Pont de Sériége so we can eat in the evening at the Auberge de la Croisade. The proprietor is very accommodating with my vegetarian diet and we once again enjoy a wonderful meal.
Afterwards we decide enough is enough and I am directed back into the kitchen for future meals to make use Charles says of the new cooker I had been nagging him about for most of last year!!! It’s a lovely quiet mooring and in the morning I run all the way and back to the Canal du Jonction and down to Salléles-d’Aude and back before we cast off and take extra care as we travel through Capestang bridge which is one of the lowest bridges on the canal. This is a pretty port if not a wee bit expensive and it’s nice to see Ann on David on Cassandra.
On Wednesday the 5th July we are on the move again to overnight in Poilhes where we sample some locally brewed beer and purchase a few bottles in preparation for my son Matthews visit with his girlfriend Helen later in the month.
Charles always enjoys visits from either of my boys as suddenly the fridge gets filled with lots of goodies he is not normally allowed. We then spend one night in Colombies before stopping at the top of the Fonserannes locks. During one of my runs Charles decides its a good idea to take a look at The Oppidum of Ensérune where I manage to run up the 400 feet ascent – think I find it easier running than Charles does cycling. The site was occupied from 800 bc through to the beginning of the Christian era. The view is spectacular showing star shaped drainage channels over the dried Motady lake…….and it is a lot easier and faster descending with Charles overtaking me – I hope his brakes work!!
We make our way to the top of the Fonseranne locks to wait for Matthew and Helens arrival tomorrow which gives me time to make some lasagnes – Helen is also a vegetarian so it will be nice to have veggie kinship. The Mayor of Beziers has been working hard to develop the canal area to attract tourism and has done a great job. We also happen to arrive for the grand opening so are treated to music, entertainment and food stalls.