7. River Baise, & Surprise!

Agen Canal Bridge

Built in 1749, 539 metres long, 23 ‘basket angle’ stone arches on 22 pillars.  The canal is 8.82 metres wide – with 2 tow paths.  This only allows one way navigation.  A Lock and a basin are located downstream of the aqueduct bridge – and another basin is located upstream.  I could have spent several days on this thing… but…  

The last day, JB has the helm – he’s not giving it up for anybody…

The last lock before the Pont Canal d’Agen…

Clockwise: A reflective moment – Outrigger fishing on a Canal Boat? – Time to pack away the fishing gear – David waited 40 years for this shot (and with MY camera – a momentary lapse in concentration!)

Keeping his eye on the Pont Canal – dead ahead…

Here we go – Keith looking anxious…

Drive on James – carefull – don’t spill the wine…

Slow down – I have to get back on…

Ahead – the last turning basin…

Before we arrive back at the Boat Harbour.  It’s all over (I thought) but… maybe not!

A Wonderful Surprise!

And it seemed everyone knew – except me…

There I was – wandering quietly back from the Internet Cafe – when I ran into Keith. He told me that he was going into Agen in search of a baguette (he had missed lunch) – so I took him to a baguette shop I knew of. He changed his mind. Then he wanted 3 more bottles of Mandarine Liqueur (so we could have one each for presents) – and I took him to a supermarket I had found. They had none – and we visited 3 more wine ‘Caves’ before we found what we needed. It was now after 5:00pm – and he said “Let’s go back to the boat…”

It seems that while Keith was keeping me busy in town, JB (who told me he was going to look at bike shops) was meeting his sister at the train station – and they needed time to check her into a hotel – and then smuggle her on board the boat. David and Patricia were also involved – and now I understand why they didn’t want to travel further up the Lot River that afternoon!

Carla had 2 weeks vacation, and had flown from Oz to London – gone to Wimbledon with an old friend – flown to Toulouse – then trained to Agen.  She was then hidden in Keith’s cabin… As we climbed on board, we announced that we had 3 more bottles of our new favourite liqueur, “we can finish one tonight – and still have one each left over…”

And a voice from below said, “You may need an extra one now!”


My Princess emerges…

No lame caption can do justice to this moment!

Or this one…

“This is no big deal – anyone can drive this thing!” She wanted to see the Pont Canal – so JB gave her the helm and we set off on a Sunset Cruise…

The kids were in charge of the boat – so we cracked one last pose…

and (more importantly) one last bottle of wine…

Carla – fitting right in…

Back at the Marina – making fast aft (and also tying up!)

All secure skipper – let’s go and eat…

Our Last Supper…

For the first time in several days, Patricia didn’t have to look after four hungry lads… My opinion? The food on board was better… It was a subdued evening. We knew that something very special was coming to an end – we would be saying our farewells in the morning – and…


For the second time in 40 years, we would go our separate ways…


Farewells – and a Family Trip… which ends in Hospital.  Read on…

 

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