Thursday, 20 August 2015

Canal du Midi - Day 11

Day 11

Today is Thursday and my flight from Beziers is on Saturday pm. My plan was to walk six miles or so from Capestang to Colombiers and overnight there, then another short walk to Beziers tomorrow to overnight there.

Internet told me the TIC at Capestang opened at 9:00 am so i had a liesurely breakfast and pleasant wander through the town and a coffee. At the TIC they didn't open till 10:00 so I had to set off without booking ahead. After half a mile the canal path was closed because of diseased plain tree felling - all very sad, but also annoying. I diverted through residential areas then had to walk about a mile on a busy main road with no verges - one of the most dangerous road walks I can remember.

Back on the canal it was peace and quiet. As I was coming through Poilhes ( here we go again Gayle) a pretty girl sort of running coming towards me stopped and offered me a drink from a litre bottle of ice cold water she was carrying. I must be getting better looking every day?

Then there was a Scotsman coming the other way , the first backpacker I've met. He told me of more closed canal path ahead. When I got there I was firm and insistent and in the end the guy let me through. There would have been no feasible diversion for this one.

By the time I got to Colombiers it was 12:45 - TIC closed until 3:00 and everybody else lunching, so joined in at the not so good Restaurant Eclusier - pretentious and the pression had a medicinal aftertaste ( I have beer at lunchtime, and wine in the evening).

I dozed on a bench in front of the TIC until 3:00. The girl tried many options but everywhere was full and I was resigned to camping about half a mile outside the town, but from much practice I brought in the technique of not going easily, and sat a bit longer until she remembered there hadn't been a reply to her first call, so she said she would try again - one last chance. Yes, they had a room. It was on one of those massive barge houseboats moored about fifty years from the TIC. Whew !

The owner is French and his wife Gwen is Australian. He spent some of his life during what he called his hippy period in Cumbria making candles. They have made me very welcome and I am now installed in an en-suit cabin up for'ard with all mod cons and promise of rosé and nibbles on the deck at 6:00 before I go to the other restaurant - what a life!

More later.

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