My sister & brother-in-law have a share in a narrowboat cooperative in England, which gives them 2 weeks use of the shared boat every year.
And I used to join them for at least one of these weeks. If you’ve never tried canal boating, then you really should (I took a book with me the first time, as I thought that it I would end up with so much time to fill – but after that first week, I hadn’t even opened the book – there’s just so much to do – and it is such fun).
And every year, we would end up talking about the possibility of spending a week on the Canal du Midi in France. And every year we would come to the same conclusion.
That unless we could arrange some sort of “boatswap”, it would just be too costly.
So it was a pipedream never to be realised.
Until now that is.
There is a very cost effective way to travel along the Canal du Midi.
Photograph: Wikipedia Creative Commons
Canal towpaths are excellent for walking along. Yes, canals sometimes take a very circuitous route, as they follow the contours of the land. But this means that they are extremely flat (the only altitude changes being very minimal changes at locks).
|Hôtel de La Bastide, Carcassonne|
|The staff at the Hôtel de La Bastide have been so supportive during a time which was personally rather difficult. Hotels can be much the same – it is the staff that makes the difference!|
|Website | Facebook|
|Najet Hamou, Marseillette|
|“Nurse” Najet, assisted by her son and friends, cared for me for 4 days, after a wee fall on the way to Marseillette. A real-life angel, who has missed her true vocation: nursing!|
|CouchSurfing Page | Facebook|
|Bernadette (Bernie), Névian|
|Bernie and her husband hosted me for 2 nights in Névian. Every so often, I meet an extra-special person through CS. And Bernie is definitely one such person. I am especially in awe of her job.|
|Nadia Vaillend & Family, Le Viala|
|Nadia, and her children Alix (Daughter) & Dorian (Son) hosted me for 2 nights in their beautiful home in the middle of the French countryside. Dorian studied music at the local conservatoire with Laura (who I had met the previous evening). Yes, it is indeed a small world.|
|Frederique & Laura Choquet, Béziers|
|Frederique and her daughter Laura hosted me for 1 night in Béziers, on the eve of Laura’s final exam.|
|CouchSurfing Page | Website | Facebook|
|Said Haddou, Cap d’Agde|
|Said was my first Couchsurfing host of the trip, hosting me the night before I started walking.|
|Original jewellery designed and handcrafted in precious metals by Gillian Ryan using traditional tools and techniques.|
|Ted’s Barbers Ayr|
|A real men’s barber shop – staffed by the ever-smiling Angela and Rio.|
|Hi-Tec have been my footwear supplier right from the beginning. And, again in France, it will be Hi-Tec walking boots, and their RollinGait technology, that help keep me plodding along.|
|Website | Facebook | Twitter|
|One of the original supporters of my planned Canada walk, Ann is now sponsoring me on one of the days of my wee walk along the Canal du Midi in France.
Thank you Ann!