Saturday, 15 August 2015

Canal du Midi - Day 6

At my hotel I noticed strange holes high up in the outside wall like bullet marks. I enquired if they related to WW1 or 2, she had never noticed them before.

I ate well with a rice salad then lasagne, ice cream and then cheese accompanied by a demi of red.

There was a couple talking loudly on the patio outside my room until 12:30 which was a bit annoying.

It was thirty minutes walk back to the canal this morning, it was deserted again until I arrived at a café/gîte about 4km. from Carcassonne where I had coffee and a crêpe. That is only the fourth place anywhere near the canal where it was possible to buy anything in the 100km between Toulouse and Carcassonne. BE WARNED IF YOU THINK OF WALKING THIS WALK.

I was just kidding myself that I didn't need to use their toilet when a cruise boat pulled up and about 15 disembarked, about six of which decided they wanted to use the toilet and I had to wait for ages, so I had a second coffee.

A lot further on I stopped for a wee well off the path overlooking a river running under the canal. I'd seen nobody for ages and of course a guy turned up on a bike to start fishing in the river, so there was an amusing exchange of conversation. We chatted a while about his fishing and he told me was Algerian, but then emphasised that he was Berber not Arab, and showed me a bracelet withe appropriate insignia. Before we parted he gave me a handful of caramelised almonds to see me on my way

In Carcassonne I went to the Tourist Info. kiosk. An English couple, polished middle class southern accents were being served. They were speaking immaculately pronounced French but not making much headway. The assistant asked me if he could help me and I rattled off my enquiry about accommodation on my route and got an immediate reply. I asked the English if they were driving (they were toting one of those suitcase things on wheels). "No" they replied, "we're using the buses but it's not easy". "Well, it's all part of the fun" I replied. "Humph" was their response, and I departed merrily feeling some sorta satisfaction - don't know why?

A few kms from here at Trèbes where I am camping I recognised a boat on the canal where I had enquired about camping a few years ago when I walked in the Languedoc starting from Carcassonne, then when I arrived in Trèbes I recognised the restaurant where I ate after the boat people had driven me there, so I reckon I must have walked all that stretch before from Carcassonne, but remembered nothing until the boat. All the routes I have walked recently seem to be crossing with previous ones.

Today is a bank holiday and my visit to the TI office confirmed all other accommodation is booked up.

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8 comments:

Phreerunner said...

It sounds as if you are getting some pleasure from this trip even if the facilities are not quite as you'd hoped for. Keep going!

gimmer said...

might have been Wellington's men on the loose after the capture of Toulouse - or revolutionary cads firing off at the head of a guillotined aristo (more to your liking, I suspect, from some of your comments !)

gimmer said...

you will see that I managed to defeat it - twice - but forswore editing in case it came back to ban me once more !

Roderick Robinson said...

Aha! Embedded in this post is evidence of your real reason for going foreign, and especially to France. I share it and you have my felicitations. A couple from south-east England (an inference possible from your reference to accents) should be worth 7.5 points out of a possible 10. Not the "inner" you would have got had the be-wheeled couple been proven Londoners, but encouraging enough.

coastalwalker said...

France is BIG compared to Britain, with empty tracts of countryside between its villages. If I remember right, the whole of France closes down for 2 weeks in August and goes on holiday. Hope that doesn't interfere with you ability to find accommodation.

AlanR said...

An empty demi falling off a balcony onto a table of noisy folk would have brought a reaction. Sacre bleu.

Sir Hugh said...

Phreerunner - a lot of the pleasure on these jaunts is in sorting the challenge. The main one is finding accommodation, but something always seems to turn up.

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Gimmer - I think I prefer Wellington's men of whom I think the general said he was afraid, or is that another story?

Congrats on taming The Beast.


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RR - I could have been kinder applauding their effort to try something out of their comfort zone, but it was more fun that way. I like " bewheeled"i don't know why but it reminded me of "The Shirtless Biddles", perhaps that's who they were?

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Coastal walker - hi Ruth. You are correct about the French holidays and I am in the midst of it, but I'm battling on and enjoying myself.
J
Sent from my iPad

Sir Hugh said...

Alan R - a good Idea. Your rebellious nature shines through!