Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

First Guests, April 30-May 5

My first guests, long time friends Tim and Christine from Oak View, Ca. arrived Sunday, April 30, escaping the May Day madness in Paris. They would be staying for a week, leaving Monday, May 8. Since Monday was a holiday and the canal locks were closed, we wouldn’t be departing until Tuesday. That gave us a day to wander the streets of Castelsarrasin.

The obligatory first stop was one of the churches in town, Saint-Saveur. Construction originally began in 961 when the town first appeared on maps, later as Castro Sarraceno. It was completely rebuilt between 1245 and 1270 but has undergone several renovations in the 16th, and 19th centuries, with the front steps and porch added in 1901.

The ceilings were tastefully decorated.

A majestic organ

We also got a good laugh from the name of this street. We’re not sure what happens there but it must stay there….

Tuesday morning at the crack of 9 we headed down through one lock to the conveniently place pontoon right outside the big grocery store. It’s always a great thing when you can roll the shopping cart right down to the boat. Shopping complete we turned around and headed back up the canal for our first destination, Montauban.

We had to travel through 9 locks going up, the last 5 in quick succession alongside the Pente d’eau ( more on that later) before turning off onto the side canal that travels down to the River Tarn and the city of Montauban. Not wanting to wear ourselves out on the first days underway, we stopped about 3:30 at a small mooring in the hamlet of Lacourt St. Pierre. A small grocery/bar/tabac, a church and a nice shady park were all that was there but we decided we weren’t in a big hurry so we decided to spend Wednesday there and more on to Montauban on Thursday.

The Lacourt church. those bells rang every half hour from 7 am to 7 pm.

Thursday morning we were planning to get underway about 10 as the locks don’t open until 9:30 when Tim mentioned that a big boat was coming down the canal. It turned out to be good friends Lenny and Di on Elysium. We first met them in Briare in 2021 and then we tag teamed our way down to the Garonne last year with many raucous evenings. They were also on their way to Montauban. We would meet them there.


  1. Ah, Don, I’m glad you’re on your way. Are your friends boaters too? If not, this will be quite special for them. Your photos are lovely!I’ll look forward to more from Montaubon. :)

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    2. I try again. Tim and I worked together at the beginning of my captain career in the mid 80's. They live close to me in
      SoCal and we see each other often. They've been on Oldtimer twice before and Tim was on Odysseus a couple of times.

  2. Thinking of you...


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