France 2011: Day Eight

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Wednesday 5 October 2011

Trèbes to Puichéric

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We’re up around 7:30 and a group of us head into town to pick up fresh bread and croissants for breakfast. I snap a few more photos in the early morning light and purchase a few bottles of, you guessed it, Minervois.

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Once we’ve breakfasted, we set off again down the canal, heading to our overnight destination of Puichéric. We pull up to the shore near Marseillette for lunch on board, under the shade of the plane trees.

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Karen and I hustle into town to spot the clock tower/signal station erected by Napoleon. Lunch is fresh sausage bought in Carcassonne and cooked by the captain topside on the built-in grill. (There’s a mini-fridge, grill, and sink on the upper deck, as well as seating and two tables for dining–everything you need for entertaining al fresco on the water.) The sausage smells great grilling in the open air and tastes terrific when served with fresh bread, some leftover cassoulet, and a glass of red wine.

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We’re off again, starting the afternoon cruise with a triple lock. We all agree, these multiple locks are our favorites. This one, near Blomac, is particularly scenic.

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Once in Puichéric, we take a spot behind a couple of other boats, just west of a bridge and the road into town. Karen and I take a brisk photo walk on the road into town, passing an old church and large community gardens in the gorgeous light of the setting sun.

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The plan to grill our steak dinner topside is altered when it becomes obvious that the grill (really more of a glorified hot plate) doesn’t want to stay lit, so the chefs move into the galley where dinner preparations are in full swing. Radishes with butter and salt, green beans, garlic potatoes, salad, and a blue cheese garnish on the steak make for a flavorful meal. Two bottles of wine accompany the food.

The nightly ritual. Since we’ve been on the boat, my new routine is to shower at night. Working the boat in this warm weather is dirty business. The lock walls are mucky, the lines used to secure the boat are often wet and messy, and there were a few times when I’ve had to scramble around in the shrubbery to tie off the boat. Add to that a generous layer of sun screen and believe me, there’s no way you want to crawl into bed until a nice, hot shower. Afterward, my nightly ritual concludes with a final glass of wine while my hair dries before I turn in.

Clicking on any of the photos above will take you to my Flickr site where you can see more photos from the trip.

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