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 Post subject: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:55 pm 
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Location: 64100 Bayonne
I'm at the v early stages of thinking about a boating holiday this summer.. perhaps the Canal du Midi, the Canal du Nivernais or the Canal de Bourgogne (or anywhere south really).
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If anyone has any experience, I'd be grateful for your recommendations, tips, anecdotes..
Many thanks,
P

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Location: Ille et Villaine (35)
Many years ago I went from Bordeaux through to Port la Nouvelle in a 35' Lion class yacht - one of these :

Image

Naturally, the mast was taken down but it wasn't a nuisance. We had a deep draft (fin keel) so had to be careful not to go aground !

It was the most fabulous holiday, very peaceful and we could stop more or less where we wanted at night. We used to have to assist the lock keeper with the winches which could be quite hard work. Beautiful scenery and great for sight-seeing. It's useful to have bikes :-bd I did fall in once when I missed with the boathook :lol:
There were very few companies hiring out more bath tubby boats and there were big peniches using some of the waterways.

I would definitely recommend it, though I imagine it's a lot more crowded these days. But I doubt that would spoil the fun !


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:51 pm 
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Was that the Canal du Midi, Blaze..? Sounds like a lot of fun.. :-bd
A 35 footer would be just the job.. think there might be four of us.
I wouldn't want some great plastic gin palace though.. :-q

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:31 pm 
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It was a long time ago and I think we started on the Garonne, then the Canal du Midi - I remember at one point we had to cross the River Aude. I also remember that we went underneath Narbonne and somewhere there we had to catch something with the boathook to open a lock :-\

It was pretty physical at the locks : We had to leap out with the ropes - sometimes the metal ladders were seaweedy and slippery - and I really didn't fancy falling into a lock :-o . One or two of the locks were very deep and there was one area where there were 'steps' and at least 9 locks one straight after the other.

The plastic gin palaces are far better adapted to the canals - we had very little clearance in some parts of the canal and going aground was a bit of a worry at times. They're well kitted out, easy to drive and nice and stable. Think of the comfort :D


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Oh alright then! :lol:

How about bankside restaurants..? =p~

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:50 pm 
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There weren't any in those days - but you might get lucky and find a hot dog stand :lol: We cooked our own food and bought as we went along and bought from local shops or farms (no supermarkets in those days ;)
I somehow imagine it's very different now and more organised. There was a small gin palace organisation at Castelnaudry but otherwise it was boats like ours, mostly a bit smaller, who were going to and from the Med.

It was amazing as we got closer to the sea - the smell of rotting seaweed was incredibly strong and it suddenly hit us !

It's funny, I haven't thought about that trip for ages - it's making me want to do it again :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:34 pm 
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Blaze wrote:
I did fall in once when I missed with the boathook :lol:


= Blaze speak for too much Plymouth!! =))

(Wish there was a duck/bolt smilie here - the smiles on this forum are rubbish! :lol: )


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:41 am 
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Location: Correze near Brive
Have a nice time. :D
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 Post subject: Re: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:43 am 
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Location: Here and there, SW France
ugh, trapped on a boat with only rip-off bankside shops & restos to deal with. If wet it's horrid, if too hot it's torrid. But then I'm biased, I watched too many families on the Broads in the 60s, arguing about everything come rain or shine.
If you must do it, rent the biggest boat you can afford to give each of you the maximum amount of personal space.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Location: originally : Yorkshire - now : near Limoges
It's something we'd like to do but we keep putting it off ... maybe when I retire :YMPRAY: :YMPRAY:
I found an interesting site for the Canal du Midi the last time we talked about it:

http://www.canalmidi.com/louer.htm

They give suggestions as to the best time of year, an example minimum trip ...

Hope you enjoy it.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday afloat
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Location: Alpes-Maritimes
We did a canal holiday when we were newly weds. It was in the North West of the UK. We had a ball and the boss really loved it. We are also thinking of trying the canals in France, maybe, just maybe - next year.


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