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Carmen - Queen of the Canal-du-Midi

sunny 27 °C

The weather gods must be blog readers … No sooner had we mentioned that we were being climatically prepared for our return home than the wind dropped, the clouds parted, and the temperature shot up to 27 degrees. We are now approaching the city of Toulouse, where both the Canal-du-Midi and our cruise will end. Carmen, with David at the wheel, will carry on to Bordeaux .
Carmen was originally built in 1925 as a working barge and over the past few years has been lovingly converted by David into a luxury cruiser. She is three or four times the size of the ubiquitous hire boats; has cabins more spacious and far more lavish than many hotel rooms; has air conditioning and absolutely all home comforts. She is undoubtedly the Queen of this canal. Camera wielding gawkers appear at every lock and bridge to wave us on our way and we bask in the glow of Carman’s notoriety, and feel like minor royals, as we glide regally past while nobly acknowledging the onlookers. Crewing this magnificent vessel has been a sheer delight and we will be sad to leave her. Here’s Jim at the helm…
And here is Sheila tending the herb garden on the top deck at 6.2 kilometres an hour as we pass Villefranche-de-Lauragais…
Creating local culinary delights has kept Jim busy in the galley for the past two weeks and here he is preparing tomato salad with herbs from the top deck – Now that’s what we call local!
Over the last few days we’ve enjoyed duck breasts with cherry sauce, lamb’s liver crusted with herbs, and pintarde au pot, (a special variety of chicken that is normally eaten by the French as a Christmas treat), together with a slew of accompanying dishes. But this evening, in Toulouse, Jim handed the ropes to the chef at Le Bistrot de l’Etoile and let him take the strain.
Here we are enjoying the ambience and food at Le Bistrot...

Posted by Hawkson 00:24 Archived in France

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Well, it sounds like a dream vacation you two! We are in the last few hours of preparation to head to St. Jean de Pied de Port to start our Camino experience...will be very different from yours, I'm thinking. We'll be texting Allyson along the way, and when we can getting in touch via email.
Take care and bisous
Sharron and Harv

by sharron

My to go, see and do list is getting longer. Couldn't steer the barge or run the galley but I could be the tarot reader.

by janet

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