We woke up at 08h30 and loafed a bit. We did not unplug the electricity before going for breakfast and shopping and the cost for the mooring and the electricity was €8.00. The Spar in France is just as expensive as South Africa.
The lock keeper at the triple lock was very helpful and friendly. We stopped after that for lunch. Our plan of losing the barge in front of us did not work! We went to Mr Not the Potter which was a waste of time. We stopped at La Segala but there was no water and nothing to see.
We then went to our first down lock. They are much easier than going up. We moored up and took a walk to Narouze and the obelisk.
The one lock’s sluice gates had to be opened manually! We waited at the double lock for the barge that was one lock behind us. We walked up a seriously steep hill to Renneville. I did at least 8kms of walking today. We had pasta with shallot, garlic, lardons, tomatoes and marrow for supper.
Woke up at 08h30 and managed to shower and get through the 1st lock at 09h00. We slept at the lock mooring for 10 hours! Fresh air and exercise will do that! We were the only barge in the lock and we got through the 1st two locks in 30 minutes. We were complimented by a lock keeper for our tying up.
We stopped at Villepinte for breakfast. Dave cycled into the village but nothing was open. Our next stop will be Castelnaudary – 11kms and 15 locks. We stopped for lunch at the first triple lock – we have made good progress. The lock was like a staircase – the front and rear gates closed and the middle sets open. I got the rope caught on the mechanism while greeting the lock keeper. The ropes and I are full of grease. It took us 25 minutes to do the locks into Castelnaudary. There is a huge open water section between the locks and the port.
We moored at 15h00 for the night and we are still a night ahead of schedule which means we can sleep in tomorrow if we want to. We walked around Castelnaudary and had a lazy afternoon reading and relaxing. It would be a good idea to invest in a 12v – 24v inverter for charging cell phones etc. Easter Monday was a public holiday in France. We had a really nice dinner – the cassoulet was much better here than in Toulouse. We thought we were lucky and that we had scored free electricity and water left over from the previously moored barge. It was a good thing the electricity was on as the port office was closed.