Carcassone is a mere 13 km from Trebe, but it takes us nearly all day. There are 9 locks to get through and we don’t set off early. Who cares! The countryside continues to amaze. But it is hot. Mid 30s. And the sun beats down out of a clear blue sky.
The team continues to excel at casting ropes and holding steady through the lock uplifts. Homealone jumps ashore at the side of the locks and then heads to the top were she catches the ropes thrown up to her by the boat team. The lock then closes behind us, fills and we cruise out the other end. All pretty simple at the end of the day. Sometimes gets a bit dicky with 3 boats in the lock as we can get tossed around a bit as the fill happens. Two or three locks are frequently strung together in short staircases which keeps the intensity up.
As we travel towards Carcassonne we are continuing to gain height and get great views across the valley and rolling plains. The grapes now seem to be giving way to cereal crops and mixed agriculture. During our passage along the canal we stop and tie up for lunch along the banks. Try to get some shady positions under the Flame trees to enjoy an hour or so break. The locks are all manned and stop at 12.30 and then resume at 1.30, to allow the lock keeper a lunch break. So there is a bit of a timing involved in getting through the locks to fit this schedule.
We have had two days in Carcassonne exploring first the ‘new town’ next the to the Canal and then the medieval walled city. Some really great old building work here that dates back to the 1200s. The walled city is a great massive stone structure that spreads itself across the horizon as we come in along the Canal. Inside it is full of souvenier shops and eating places. If you can get away from the crowds there are some interesting spots.
The city is approached by a long arched bridge across the river that then leads up to the draw bridge entrance. Very imposing. We arrived early and had breakfast in a small cafe, followed by lunch in a terraced side bar. More wandering around and finally back down to the boat. A very full day.
Next stop is Castelnaudary. The end!