We started the morning with a wander round Le Somail. Morning coffee was taken in a bar and we visited the bookshop with 50 000 second hand books. Gerry and Lyn purchased one each for their French homework. All the books were in written in French.
Gerry and Chris decided to confirm the route they would have to take for their Covid test on Friday. So they set off on the bikes whilst the rest of us took the boat. If you look closely at the photo you can see Chris setting off with the front forks facing the wrong direction! He made it to the bridge before finding his mistake.
The plan was they would meet us further up the canal. After a few km just past Port la Robina the branch to Narbonne turned off the canal. One of our initial plans was to descend these locks, but we had been told in the boat yard that the locks were closed because of insufficient water. We followed the canal round to the left and continued towards Beziers. It was a quiet section, a little twisty in places, with sections fully shaded by a canopy of trees.
A phone call from Gerry later in the morning told us they had successfully visited the chemist but Chris had a puncture and was walking back. A rendezvous point was arranged where we could park the boat and they could meet us from the road. Robert removed the back wheel from the bike that was left on the boat and set off to meet Chris on his Brompton. It was not required as Chris had managed to walk back before Robert made it to the road.
It was when carrying the Brompton back onto Le Boat that the outer sleeve from the tool kit that is carried in the Brompton frame, fell out of the frame and into the canal and slowly sunk. Whilst the others prepared the lunch Robert tried a bit of “fishing”. Soft mud, mollusc shells and bits of vegetation were returned to the surface using “net” improvised from a plastic draining rack and boat pole. But no Brampton tool kit sleeve. After a few more unsuccessful fishing attempts after lunch we set off. The canal follows the contours round the hillside with several changes of direction passing the pretty villages of Capestang and Poilhes which we may have time to investigate on our return. We moored for the night at Colombiers. The plan was to get a takeaway on board. Gerry checked trip adviser and Robert and Lyn rode into the village to check out the restaurants.
We opted to eat out. The ones near the port looked OK but not as ideal as the one we selected ‘La Maison du Lavoir’, a short distance from the boat on the outskirts of the village. The meal was excellent. We sat outside. Lyn had I had 4 courses, opting to include the cheese when we saw the cheese trolley. We finished it with a Grande Marnier Souffle. An expensive but excellent meal but we only had one bottle of wine.