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Canal du Midi 1 June 2016

1238 : 807

Another windy grey day. We're tied up in Le Somail and done boating, so I took a bike ride to the next town supposedly having a market day. Not true. The ride along the tow-path beside the Canal was mostly easy if bumpy. 

So I took my time. The wind was against me, and it was uphill, both ways. The stonework is superb! And the wildflowers are at their peak, the vines almost glow in their green-ness. Below is one of the ends of an aquaduct that passes a stream under the Canal ... and if it rains too hard, the canal dumps water into the stream. And the horses pulling the barges walk over the bridge. The integrity of the engineering is thrilling.

1239 : 800
<p>Aqueduc de Delfieu</p>

Aqueduc de Delfieu

1240 : 795

At the next town, Ventenac-en-Minervois, I cycled around looking for the market. (Again the guidebooks lied.) I asked a cultured looking fellow, in my best French, if there was a market, and the guy replied in English, without a trace of chagrin, "I'm English. I'm staying with friends." Oh, so THAT's why the French hate the English. 

Anyway, no market ...but here the town devotes itself to wine, with a wine chateau with a Cave in the basement as you can see. 


A simple, filling lunch, a good Seville (Sienna) style gaspacho (is how it's spelt in French) and Basque Chicken in a restaurant beside the Canal, with a couple of glasses of good local rose to accompany, followed by an excellent crême brulée.


All our ducks are lined up in a row to head on to Mirepoix tomorrow by way  Carcassonne. (We entirely skipped Fonserranes Staircase, a set of eight locks in a row, an engineering marvel. Oh well; choices!)


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