Sunday, August 9, 2015

Canal du Midi II

Our turnaround was in the town of Homps, where we stayed two nights. The first night was free and water was included, the second night was 20 euros. We were docked on front of a very good restaurant with WiFi and close by to every possible cute place, which is common everywhere in Canal du Midi. 

Homps from the town entrance bridge

The canal from the tall bridge


Looking out to the boat yard
We had time to explore and the trail around to walk and exercise. Homps has a boat yard that offers hold out and repair service. We got to see a boat on the lift with a huge hole on the fiberglass being repaired. The hole wasn't made on a coral reef, remember this as bumper boats and they advertise: if you can drive a car you can drive our boats; so it is not strange the this boats get holes on the haul.

Our time was up and we had to start our journey back to Capestang. The first stop was in the medieval village of Argens-Minervois, where we stopped on the side of the bank; drove the stakes in the ground with the large mallet they provided, tided the boat and went to explore.

We hiked to the castle, which is sadly crumbling, this village didn't seem to be thriving, but it was very pretty.

The canal from the castle
A side of the castle
Machine used in the process of making wine in the early XX century

We had a pick nick, picked up the stakes and continued our voyage. Next village: Ventenac en Minervois, where we were received by black swans.

Winery in Minervois
Ventenac en Minervois is in the region of Minervois and they make delicious wine. The village is small with a cozy community that took us in quickly. After the wine tasting we were invited to a beautiful house to have wine and lemon cake.

Winery interior
Home in a wine country
Friend we made in the winery
This people are from England and Belgium, they moved to the south of France and it was very refreshing to hear them talk about their life change. They said the winters are not so harsh and the food and wine are incredible.

Docked on the side of the Canal in Minervois
This girl came to play with us

From Ventenac en Minervois we sailed straight to Capestang, since we had not time to go further, we decided to go to Narbonne by car. Narbonne has a series of self control locks, that means, there is not a lock keeper like on the locks we went through on our trip.

Canal de La Robine
We parked right next to the big market, unfortunately it was closed, we didn't get tho visit it, but the building is gorgeous.

The market
We most walk 10 miles in that city, we kept going up and down on different streets, just to see it all, or as much as we could. We looked at the little boutiques, épicéries, (where they sell spices, preserved meats and wine), pharmacy, souvenir stores. Just the presentation of this businesses were beautiful to admire.

The gardens
Exterior wall
The bay

the selling 

sculptures on the wall from the XIV century
I found this place very interesting from every angle. People use to be very little during that time. I didn't know that until I asked about this door:

I should pose next to it, here is an sculpture of a person at that time:

It was a magical step in time to visit this place.

In Narbonne one gets lost and found easily, this are some images that makes me feel that it was not just a dream, I actually was there.

I thought I was going to be able to talk about my trip in the canal in one post, but there was so much... after this second post I have to say there will be another. I haven't tell you of our adventures going through the locks and driving this cute barge. The adventure continues.