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Friday, 14 August 2015

Canal du Midi - day 5

Last night was the proper French relais experience. All French people eating together. I had cassoulet - enough to keep a hungry randonneur going for a week.

The day was overcast with a hint of mizzle in the air, and much cooler. I was off for 7:30 and until about 11:00 the canal was deserted. Following the shorter day idea I peeled off at Villesequelande looking for accommodation and met a French family of cyclists coming the other way. The guy was very helpful and advised nothing available in that town, but confirmed possibilities in Pezens a few kilometres further, so I returned to the canal and plodded on with brightening weather and increasing warmth.

There are many French families who cycle together with kids no more than five or six riding their own bikes, and younger ones being towed along in buggies - the aforementioned had two youngsters in one of these contraptions. Many also use luggage trailers carrying camping equipment. So far I have only seen one campsite which did not fit in with the logistics of my day.

At Pezens I found the typical old roadside hotel run by an elderly matriarch. In the dingy bar one couple were waiting for food and a French guy who summed up the word hopeless sat at the bar drinking something strong. Despite the smoking ban there was a very strong tobacco smell - that seems to pervade all over France.

A room was available and I decided to eat, tucking away one of the best bolognaise spaghetti dishes I can remember, then off for a siesta.

This was the first place in five days where I could by a postcard to send home to Katie, BUT it turned out to be a national holiday in France and I couldn't buy stamps for the UK.





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3 comments:

welshpaddler said...

I tried my first cassoulet in Homps, right on the Canal. Really filling and perhaps not the right choice for a warm evening. It was good though.

Sir Hugh said...

WP - hi Bob - sounds like you are a fellow Francophile. I agree about the cassoulet - would be good when you were halfway round a winter attempt on the Munros.

bowlandclimber said...

You are lucky to have avoided the thunderstorms we have had further North in the Lot. 3 inches of rain Wed night! But the meteorites were amazing when I bivoaked out last night under clear skies.