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Friday, 21 August 2015

Canal du Midi - Day 11a

Last night I had no option but to go back to the Restaurant Eclusier, the only other one looked awful - pity because Colombiers is an attractive town.

I was served the same amuse-bouche that they were doing at lunchtime, an unpleasant concoction of carrot juice.

Next I managed to choose the same mediocre starter from lunchtime by mistake. I had a Heineken in lieu of a pression, and pichets were not an option so I had to have a 50cl bottle of local vino.

I finished off reading RL Stephenson''s Jekyl and Hyde just to keep my spirits up.

Plat principal was chicken on a skewer with bits and bats.

There was a female singer and guitar player with I think something else electronic. They were churning out that strange French music which resembles jazz but never seems to dare go anywhere exciting. The singer was doing French versions of, for example, Hit the Road Jack, Fever, Mac the Knife, which became a comedy, and later as I was walking away, Zeese Boots are made for Walking.

Back at my boat I had good conversation with Domi (nque) getting the story of buying the 1923 grain carrying barge in Belgium and the five year programme totally converting it and sailing via rivers and canals to its present location. Fascinating.















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3 comments:

gimmer said...

keen to see a map of your route, i came across a boat hire website with this titbit
"Friendly cafés and gourmet restaurants abound on the Canal du Midi! Try La Raffinerie in Béziers, Carcassonne’s La Marquiere and L’Arbousier in Homps. Don’t miss the slow-cooked bean and meat cassoulet (casserole), a French gastronomy specialty of Castelnaudary"
Maybe they need an update - if they haven't already fled the realm

Roderick Robinson said...

I could have told you La Raffinerie was closed; we tried it in June. Went on to a scruffy place where the plat du jour was liver. But perhaps that wouldn't have pleased you as much as it did me.

There's a somewhat distrait tone to these posts. Obviously due to your changed regime: beer rather than tea at lunchtime. I suspect it's the ritual you're missing as much as anything else.

Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - That stuff is written for people with cars. When you are backpacking even two hundred metre diversions have to be considered seriously, especially in the kind of heat I was experiencing. I repeat again, that in the 100 miles between Toulouse and Carcassonne there were only four canal-side options to buy ANYTHING. For me one was closed, one I lunched at, and the other two cropped up when I didn't need them.
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RR - My dictionary defines "distrait" as absent minded - I put it down to the heat. Anyway tea in France has improved somewhat since my last visit - you now often get a teapot ! BUT, it comes containing just hot water, long off the boil, with a sad looking teabag alongside for you to dunk yourself, so a good reason to avoid tea and substitute beer. May French eccentricity long continue.