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France -Canal du Midi #91600
03/26/2016 08:56 AM
03/26/2016 08:56 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 162
Nova Scotia, Can
Prospector Offline OP
Traveler
Prospector  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 162
Nova Scotia, Can
I am hoping for some TTOL knowledge of the Canal du Midi. We are chartering a self drive barge from Locaboat in May and would love any advice. We are a group of sailors who have done lots of bareboat charters in the BVI's and have appreciated all of the great advice that TTOLers have given us in the past for those trips. I am hoping some of you may have experience in France as well.


Kim
Sponsors
Re: France -Canal du Midi [Re: Prospector] #91601
03/26/2016 09:13 AM
03/26/2016 09:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,721
Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
Traveler
TomB  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,721
Virginia wishing STJ
Cannot help you, but truly looking forward to your trip report. Why did you choose the Midi vice the Lorie Valley or Burgundy? Would love to cruise canals/rivers of France for my retirement trip. Still have a few years. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Wink.gif" alt="" />


Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Re: France -Canal du Midi [Re: TomB] #91602
03/26/2016 04:01 PM
03/26/2016 04:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 162
Nova Scotia, Can
Prospector Offline OP
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Prospector  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 162
Nova Scotia, Can
I wish I had a better reason but we chose the Canal du Midi mostly on recommendation from our travel agent. It is supposed to be very barge friendly. It seems like it will be easy to walk and bike around little towns and villages and everything is close by to the canal. I am sure that can be said about most of the canal trip options though.
I will do my best with a trip report!


Kim
Re: France -Canal du Midi [Re: Prospector] #91603
03/27/2016 04:30 AM
03/27/2016 04:30 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,504
Worcester, U.K. and Spain
Jeannius Offline
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Jeannius  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,504
Worcester, U.K. and Spain
No useful info I'm afraid as I'm still at the stage of wanting to do this trip!

I have visited many towns along the route of the CdM but always by car. Best advice I can give is to start early each morning, stop at the first beautiful location you come to after midday and then enjoy the magnificent food and wine for the rest of the day. Repeat.

It truly is a most magnificent part of the world. I'm planning to buy a Dutch Barge and cruise the French Canals for many years now my offshore sailing days are over.

Looking forward to reading your report.

Re: France -Canal du Midi [Re: Jeannius] #91604
03/27/2016 06:16 AM
03/27/2016 06:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 162
Nova Scotia, Can
Prospector Offline OP
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Prospector  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 162
Nova Scotia, Can
That is certainly advice I can take. Thanks!


Kim
Re: France -Canal du Midi [Re: Prospector] #91605
03/29/2016 05:59 AM
03/29/2016 05:59 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,881
Maryland
Eva Offline
Traveler
Eva  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,881
Maryland
I did a Canal du Midi barge trip in May 2014. Truly one of our best vacations ever, weather notwithstanding. Here are my blog posts about it, which should give you a lot of information (I've also included the posts that include our pre-barge days in Barcelona and Carcassonne, and post-barge days in Paris):

Blog Part 1
Blog Part 2
Blog Part 3
Blog Part 4
Blog Part 5
Blog Part 6

To put things in persepective, we too are sailors, with many BVI and other charters under our belts, and took the barge trip 2 weeks after returning from 6 months on our own boat in the Bahamas and up and down the ICW. You are MORE THAN QUALIFIED to do a self-drive barge trip; in fact, you'll find yourself looking for things to fix, because the trip is so easy.


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: France -Canal du Midi [Re: Eva] #91606
03/29/2016 10:02 AM
03/29/2016 10:02 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 162
Nova Scotia, Can
Prospector Offline OP
Traveler
Prospector  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 162
Nova Scotia, Can
Thanks so much for the links to your blog posts. Your blog and pictures made me even more excited than ever. We have a day and night in Paris as well so that part was also helpful. I love your husband's line. "Sometimes you’re watching the show; sometimes you are the show." I got some great tips about how to provision and I will be sure to try all kinds of Rose wine while there. This is exactly why I love TTOL. Thanks!


Kim
Re: France -Canal du Midi [Re: Eva] #91607
03/30/2016 02:54 AM
03/30/2016 02:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,504
Worcester, U.K. and Spain
Jeannius Offline
Traveler
Jeannius  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,504
Worcester, U.K. and Spain
Lovely blog Eva.

Re: France -Canal du Midi [Re: TomB] #91608
04/10/2016 12:01 PM
04/10/2016 12:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 198
SW Florida
C
CptCook Offline
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CptCook  Offline
Traveler
C
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 198
SW Florida
Quote
TomB said:
Cannot help you, but truly looking forward to your trip report. Why did you choose the Midi vice the Lorie Valley or Burgundy? Would love to cruise canals/rivers of France for my retirement trip. Still have a few years. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Wink.gif" alt="" />


We did a Burgundy canal trip (Canal du Nivernais). Auxerre was magnificent and the canal scenic, but we would choose the Midi if we did it again. The canal was used for the wine trade in it's day, but now most of the transportation is done by truck. Because of this, most of the small canal villages have lost their income source. The shops (boulangerie, patisserie,restaurants,etc)are now closed. Oddly enough, there still seemed to be one florist open in each village. Since the shops are closing, there isn't much work, so the young people are moving to the urban areas. Again, it was beautiful, but it is truly self catering these days. We transited 42 locks in 6 days and drank uncounted bottles of amazing wine, but often had to scrounge and cook on board. Those we talked to said the Midi was still bustling. As a concept, we heartily endorse canaling!


"Be a Traveler, not a tourist!"

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