What an idea the Canal is! I had a similar feeling when I saw the Great Wall of China last year – what a vision – what a dream – imagining such a venture was possible and then doing it.
Pierre Paul Riquet from Beziers sank his entire fortune into the venture when from 1667-1681 12,000 people laboured on the 240 km long canal that would link the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. There are 350 bridges, aqueducts, and locks along its length, with 300 year old Plane trees lining the route – giving shade and a lovely dappled light. It truly deserves the World Heritage Status it was given by UNESCO 1996.
Of course we drank wine – mostly the local Rose – cheaper than water, and easy drinking. Champagne was also a favourite and most evenings we shared a bottle before dinner.
Breakfast was fresh bread and croissants and cheese – the muesli brought along by Yvonne was mostly uneaten. One night in the Puys region we had a simple green puy lentil dish with pork in a canal side restaurant.
Joining a women’s tour to do this trip was a great idea – It is a regular on the Bushwise Women Calendar. I get to enjoy a trip like this on my own, but not on my own. We began to get to know each other – Yvonne – the tour leader and owner of Bushwise Women, who lives in Northern NSW, her friend Fiona from Adelaide, Sam from the Blue Moutains west of Sydney, Gwen from Christchurch NZ and me from Waipu, NZ. Read more
Today I paid my deposit today for two of my tours – it feels so exciting – in less than three months the adventure will have started, and in some ways it feels like it has started already as I plan and book, peruse Google Maps, contact friends and start to put the picture together.
I am not a confident traveller, especially on my own, and it has been great to find two women’s tours which fit my itinerary – as a women on my own this makes things so much easier.
Bike and Barge the Canal du Midi with Bushwise Women
Morocco Odyssey with Venus Adventures