Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Canal du Midi

Training the drew

After a month in Narbonne, we are finally on the boat cruising the Canal du Midi. And as it happens, our boat is actually called the “Narbonne”. This post will tell you a bit about the boat and what we are doing. 

After a number of very enjoyable trips on Narrowboats in the UK, we decided to try “Something different” and after extensive research we came up with cruising the canals in the south of France. Our last trip to the UK was planned with friends who had to cancel, but we went with our usual Narrowboat partners instead, but still wanted to go with these friends so the trip to France was planned, but again circumstances got in the way and they were again unable to go. Fortunately our son and his partner said they would be willing to try canal boating with us, so we went ahead until COVID got in the way. Finally two years later, we are on the canal. 

Morning on the Canal

Our boat is called the Pinochet Evolution and is the most modern boat in the fleet at Locaboat boat rentals. It is a modern efficient little boat, using electricity for most function with a diesel motor charging the batteries. It has bow and stern thrusters like a big cruise ship and can be steered form inside or topside with traditional controls or a modern joystick. 

Visiting Homps

Now I did use the term “Little” to describe our craft, and it is perhaps a bit small for four people. It has two rooms, one in the front and one in the back. In the middle is a toilet room (A typical French thing) and shower room with sink between the two other rooms. The dining area and the lounge both convert to sleeping quarters. This means it is a chore to get beds ready every night, and was one real advantage to the long 70 ft Narrowboats which had dedicated bedrooms. Everything works well and as described, but for four people it is a bit cramped; good thing we are booting the boys out on day four. 

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