Travelled: By Barge along the Midi-Canal from Negra to Castelnaudary
Stay: On the barge
We have an extensive shopping list to fill as we head for Negra, a small village on the Midi Canal about 30 kilometres from Toulouse. We have hired a 14 metre penichette, a French barge for two weeks. It proves to be comfortable for 6 people. With a displacement of just under 12 metre tonnes it will keep us busy going through the locks but with plenty of room to sit around or lounge. It has three double births, three bathrooms and an additional separate head. We made all the hire arrangements through UK and Europe Travel, a Melbourne based company we have used before and we recommend. I will put some exact costs down later, but just to give you a ball park the cost per couple was less than A$3000 for the fortnight all inclusive, except food and drink.
We arrive in Negra with time to spare and get about trying to find our boat and organise the food and drink on board. Jenny and Dave (Pam’s sister and brother in law) and our neighbours Gaye and Colin give us a call from the local train station and the Hymer becomes a people mover. Our next little drama is going through the handover process and signing away any rights to sue Locaboat for anything and where off.
We quickly settle into life on our penichette, the Pigasse. Over the next few days we pass numerous little village, learn to master moving the Pigasse through the locks and travel through the beautiful Midi Canal and the thousands of plain trees that line it’s banks. We stop at Villefranche-de-Lauragais, Castelnaudary and Bram. Ride our bicycles into town and wander around, before finding the supermarket and stocking up for the evening. Maintaining a study supply of beer and wine our only a logistic challenge.