Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Friday, June 9, 2023

Down the Baise, May 19-22

 Kevin took this photo. Not much room in those Baise locks for Oldtimer!

Friday morning the river had calmed down sufficiently that we could head downstream back to the Garonne Lateral Canal. 

We returned to the village of Montcrabeau, just 11 k downriver. With the current pushing us we quickly made it through the 3 locks and were tied up by about 2 pm.

This time I felt comfortable enough to leave the boat and wander around the small village up the hill.

I found a small lavoir that hadn’t had a lot of restoration work.

The church wasn’t open but it featured the same kind of bell tower seen on many of the smaller churches in the region instead of a steeple.

I also found a place to take the obligatory view of the countryside countryside movie.

Saturday morning we set off at the usual time and arrived back in Nerac just after 1 pm.

This time a walk took me to the other side of the river and the Eglise Notre Dame.

And a pretty typical church interior from the 18th century.

I also had a nice circular walk that began in the large riverside Parc de la Garenne, crossed the river on a pedestrian bridge and then returned to town on the other side. There are several water features along the way including the Fontaine St Jean.

Sunday, after a quick cycle to the grocery store, we set out by about 10:30 am to make the 10k to a town we hadn’t stopped at on our way up the river, Vianne.

We found a very picturesque medieval village still with its ramparts and gates intact. They were also having some kind of fete and vide grenier so we had a nice afternoon wandering about the narrow village streets.

The interior of the church was pretty austere.

When standing on top of the southern gate (that use to house the jail) you can get a good look at the lock and weir on the river.

Looking back from the lock to the old mill on the right and the city walls behind

Monday morning it was just a couple of hours back to the Garonne Lateral Canal and our usual stop in Buzet-sur-Baise. This time we were going to head further west and see how close we could get to the end of the canal before we had to turn around to Agen so Kevin could catch a train to Paris for a few days.


  1. Some nice discoveries there, Don. I like the lavoir and am a fan of austere churches. I like seeing their beautiful lines and proportions without all the ornate clutter. I must be a calvinist at heart! :)

    1. I'm not a big fan of the baroque, myself. 😉

    2. I forgot to mention that I'm also fascinated by that bell tower at Montcrabeau,. I've never seen anything like it before. Is it a particular feature of the area?

    3. Yes, it is. Unfortunately, that's not a very good picture. They are thin brick structures with gaps for the bells, usually three. I have a better picture of one from Lacourt St. Pierre that I'll post in the next entry.

    4. Thanks, Don. I'll look out for it!


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