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Old 19-01-2019, 08:51   #16
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Re: Canals of southern France. Which one?

If you do not want the crowds that you get on the Midi, try the Dordogne or the Charente. The Dordogne is probably the most picturesque, but the Charente is full of Brandy stills!
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Old 19-01-2019, 10:48   #17
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Re: Canals of southern France. Which one?

We rented several years ago on the midi . We took a one way trip . Probably the most relaxing trip we ever took . The charter company transfered our car to the other end . P.S . The beef is great as is the wine,cheese,suasage, mushrooms figs ,duck, boar, fois gras , olives ,tomatoes and paté
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Old 19-01-2019, 11:19   #18
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Re: Canals of southern France. Which one?

Hands down Canal du Midi for us. We enjoyed it so much we did i again 2 or 3 years later. Always in Sept. Crowds are gone - kids back in school. Gorgeous September weather. Always start at the high point. and travel downstream. Much easier with line throwing. Carcassonne is not to be missed. A medieval city/fortress built by the Romans. Fabulous little villages and wine production throughout. Also not to be missed is the seven steps of the Fonserranne Locks. Amazing - you go down 70 feet in 300 meters via 8 separate chambers. And to think this canal was built before there were engines.
We started near Toulouse at Castelnaudary and turned the boat in at Agde near the Med.
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Old 19-01-2019, 11:29   #19
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Re: Canals of southern France. Which one?

My wife and I cruise the Canal du Midi late May/early June 2018. We used Le Boat and we’re generally pleased with the service although many things on the boat were broken when we first got it due to overly rapid turnaround. They were fairly responsive in fixing these things, however. There are a few caveats:
1. Don’t base your trip on distance. We took a week to go 100 km from Trebbes to Narbonne and it seemed about right. We could stop whenever we wanted and see sights of interest. There was plenty of time for locks and for poking around towns.
2. Better to go in cooler weather rather than warmer weather. You cannot swim in the Kanau due to the overboard discharge. That said, we never detected odor or problems related to sewage.
3. Plan to savor food and wine, as opposed to nautical prowess. My wife and I recently had dinner at an Alice Waters restaurant, and it was great, but not greater than almost every meal we had along the canal. Also it was 10 times as expensive.
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Old 19-01-2019, 12:00   #20
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Re: Canals of southern France. Which one?

Yum...easy cruising and good food...sounds awesome.

Thanks for all the info everyone!
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Old 19-01-2019, 12:16   #21
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Re: Canals of southern France. Which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Now that is a narrow boat. But March? Isn't it a bit chilly in March? And people talk funny around there. It sounds kind of like English but sometimes it's hard to tell.

Snails? Beef? Neither daughter nor hubby care about snails or beef. Daughter is a vegetarian and hubby eats fish.
Narrow boats have a maximum beam of 6'10" as the locks are just 7ft. Wifey has some hols left to be taken by April, so use or or loose it. Temps will be between 32 and 50F so woolly hats and foul weather gear needed as it will rain, not might, but will, character building The good news is for over 3 decades teams of enthusiastic volunteer amateurs have been slowly rebuilding the UKs canal networks which are now opening long lost routes for all to enjoy.

Suppose you could always go native with a dish of moules. Weather should be just warm enough for short sleeves, though the English and Germans will be swimming, the French will still be fully dressed.
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Old 19-01-2019, 13:06   #22
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Re: Canals of southern France. Which one?

Midsummer 2014 my wife and I plus two other couples did a nice trip starting and ending in Agen. We rented a Locaboat Penichette which was easy to handle for all aboard and was narrow enough to not be squeezed in any of the locks. We liked the character of the boat, and felt that it seemed more in the spirit of the trip when compared to the wider and more modern looking types such as offered both by Locaboat and Le Boat.

We flew Air France from San Francisco to Toulouse with a change of planes in Paris. After an overnight in Toulouse (which seemed to us like we were on a real-life set of Les Miserables) we took the train to Agen. The Locaboat docks are an easy walk from the train station.

Our route took us west on the Canal Lateral a la Garonne to Jouau, where we locked through to the river Petit Baise. We took the Petit Baise south as far as the town of Condom (pronounced con-DOME, not like what you buy at the pharmacy), where we spent a day before reversing our route back to Agen.

Condom is the home of one of the regional distilleries for Armagnac which we had not known but were delighted to discover. We walked up to the very unassuming old building located on a back street and were given an impromptu tour by the manager. He didn’t speak more than about 30 words of English, and only one of our party (a Kiwi native but longtime US resident) only had his butchered high school French to fall back on. Somehow we managed to communicate our delight with the experience, learned a bit about Armagnac production, had a few samples, and bought a nice bottle to enjoy on the rest of our trip. The manager was truly delighted to have visitors to their old and humble establishment, which doesn’t see many tourists.

Doing this trip in a leisurely fashion could take ten days, but I think that it could be done in seven if you pushed your travel days longer. What’s the fun in that? It’s away from the more busy parts of the region and there are many convenient stopping points for walks, restaurants, and provisions.
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Old 19-01-2019, 15:28   #23
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Re: Canals of southern France. Which one?

Weather.com will provide forecasts and statistics for any place in the world (as far as I have experienced). Just type in name of the location at the top of the page next to the Weather Channel logo and then click on Monthly and select month from the drop-down. Franceafloat.com had some interesting information.
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Old 25-01-2019, 20:54   #24
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Re: Canals of southern France. Which one?

Le-boat Canal du-Midi - cannot recommend them highly enough - awesome 8 person canal boat, avipod drive and bow thruster, joystick controlled made locking in easy
Castelnaudry is a short train ride from Toulouse
65 Locks and over 100 bridges in 8 days
Always go downstream to Agdi - one way trip vastly better than up hill or return
Carcossone (sp) a wonderful fortified village
Beziers well worth a visit
Multiple villages, bike up to the towns for supplies and breakfast
Give yourself ample time - the last section is a bit boring
Our party of 12 took two boats and communicated by walkie-talkie radios
Leave yourself some time after to see Avignon and the Vaucluse
Late summer - September or the end of August better
South of France gets very hot in summer
Le-Boat Benetau canal boats had OB generators and AC!
Pardon my spelling
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