Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Thursday, June 22, 2023

The Garonne Lateral, May 23 - 27

In the last post I put up a not very good picture of a typical small church bell tower of the region and promised a better one. This a picture of the church in Lacourt San Pierre at the beginning of the Canal du Montech, a better example.

Monday morning it was just 10 k and three locks to get back onto the Garonne Lateral canal from the Baise River, a task completed by 11 am. I had arranged to meet friends from Briare, Pete and Sarah, for lunch at the restaurant at the moorings. They sold Marianna at the end of last season and were on a car trip to France collecting stuff they had left behind and reconnecting with friends, including Lennie and Di on Elysium, who had bought a house on the Lot River, not too far from the Garonne. We had a great time catching up.

From L to R Lennie, Sara, Di and Pete at Lennie and Di's new house.. 

There may be wine involved.

(Pic borrowed from Pete)

Tuesday morning we set off to the west in the direction of Bordeaux although we didn’t intend to get there. The canal ends quite a way short of the city and that necessitates a trip on a tidal section of the Garonne River. I didn’t want to do that and there wasn’t time anyway. The plan was to return to Agen by around the 27th so Kevin could take the train up to Paris and maybe catch a few of the opening matches of the Paris Open tennis tournament.

Our first stop was the halte nautic the village of Villeton. A women from Maine we met earlier in the summer in Castelsarrasin, Anita, was a new canal boat owner and she had run into a little trouble in Agen. As she was on her own (her crew had to leave) she needed someone to help her back into the Agen marina. Kevin volunteered and there was a train station in the nearby town of Tonneins. He could catch the train back to Agen, assist Anita and then catch the train returning to Tonneins later in the afternoon. Meanwhile, I could catch up on a little painting.

Anita on Arabelle leaving Agen

Our tasks complete, Wednesday after lunch we pushed on to the small marina at Pont de Sables where we would turn around to head back to Agen. 

6 k from the moorings there is the good sized town of Marmande. I took a quick bike ride into town on Thursday, visited the tourist office which is located in an old restored house with a nice fountain.

Of course, I also visited the gothic style Notre-Dame church with it’s magnificent organ.

There is a beautiful tile mural long the city wall facing the Garonne River.

Friday morning it was back up the canal about 25 k to the village of Damazan and its small marina.

A walk through town revealed more of the typical half-timber construction typical of the old buildings of the area.

Saturday it was 33 k and about 6 hours back to Agen. 

Kevin would be leaving Sunday morning by train to Paris, returning on Wednesday. I had plenty of boat chores to attend to so I wouldn’t be bored!

1 comment:

  1. Phil and Terrie Chatfield off "Mr Pip" live in Marmande! This looks a fabulous stretch, and haven't done it by water. An idyllic spot to rest.


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