Capestang, Malpas, and Colombiers (June 9, 2013)


It really is that picturesque…

Day 9: First morning on the boat! And more rain.

Woke up on the early side and had a lovely quiet morning, watching the canal. I’d suggested to Ben yesterday that he make the coffee cold brew in the carafe, so in the morning he poured himself some concentrate and added the hot water and made himself extremely caffeinated and bouncy which was adorable.
Since I was up, I went and ran the first lock (walking to the automated station, hitting the buttons, and then catching lines when the boat pulled up).


Snail bollard!

We got through the lock not long after it had opened and started sailing along.

I kept saying “oh right, this is my favorite part of the canal” except it just kept happening. I’d forgotten how much more beautiful the Midi is than the Loire.

The weather was wildly indecisive, and couldn’t make up its mind between sun and rain, but it was still preferable to the all rain that we expected.


Danger: Vase Moles! (actually means “soft mud”)

We were attempting to get people into Capestang before the market closed, so when the road neared the canal Eric, Carolyn and I hopped off on bikes and went directly to town while the boat followed the twists and turns of the canal.


The photos really don’t do the road justice, but I wasn’t interested in stopping in the middle of the road and getting run down.

So we pedaled down the road with the beautiful trees like the canal, with poppy fields and vineyards to either side, and it was amazing. We passed a vintage car show on the way into town, and then found the market which was tiny and starting to pack up, but still useful.

We bought wine and lots of bread, and vegetables and sausages. Carolyn and I enjoyed window shopping the clothes and shoe and sewing stalls. Then we biked back to the canal (baguette sticking out of my handlebar basket, feeling very French) and put our goods back on the boat and met up with the crew to head to lunch. We had an overpriced but tasty lunch with wine and duck and cheese. Eric and Kendra and I went to the cemetery to take photos, and eventually we made it back to the boat.


Creepy weeping angel!


A wreath of rusting leaves. I wondered what they looked like when they were new, but I think I liked them better this way.


Yes, a real raindrop.


It was poppy season in France too — everywhere we went, field of poppies.


Most awesome Art Nouveau crypt door@


…and then we pretended to leave Tish behind.

Our plan was to make it to the Roman fort/ruins near Colombier, and then to as near to Bezier as possible. On our way we passed an incredibly picturesque vista, invoked rule #1 (“anyone can stop the boat at any time!”) and took pictures.


It really was that beautiful.


I found you a France!


I want to ID this flower. It grew in great profusion, huge bushes of it. The stems were almost succulent-like.

We stopped on the other side of Capestang to take on water. We ended up double-parked against a boat of Brits who we aspire to be like in 20-30 years. There were seven of them traveling together, and we all started chatting as we filled the water tank. Mike offered them Brennivin (this bizarre caraway-flavored Icelandic spirit he’d picked up in his layover on the way to France), passed around in tiny egg cups that LeBoat provided us. That lead them to passing us back some amazing Calvados they’d gotten in Breton, which was way more appley than any Calvados I’d had before. There was much laughter and entertainment which made waiting for the water not nearly as annoying as it could have been.

Then we were on to the tunnel


The walls were a very strange texture. I don’t know if it’s the original concrete?

…and then we were on to climb the hill towards the Roman ruins.

   

Unfortunately, halfway up the hill it started raining in earnest, and when we got to the ‘museum’ the last entrance had been half an hour earlier. So we took pictures of the dry lake bed which is now farmland, and hiked back down in the mountain in the rain.

The rain picked up again and Ben actually came inside to drive, which was only a moderate visibility disaster. We made it into the port at Colombiers in the pouring rain and after making fast, we dashed into the restaurant in the port. Dinner was somewhat disappointing, and then we came back to the boat and turned in early (after a dramatic reading of “Who doth inhabit the primary position” by Kendra and Ben).