Argeliers to the Fonseranne staircase of locks at Beziers


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Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon » Beziers
October 2nd 2017
Published: October 2nd 2017
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Overnight there was quite heavy rain but it eased off by the time we got up, although low cloud was still covering the hilltops. We managed to unmoor the boat and set off without getting wet and continued cruising along the canal. Although it is wet and grey, it was supposed to be 23 degrees, with it 16 at that point.

We continued on from our overnight stop just east of Argeliers, through into Capestang. We moored over lunch and went for a walk into the village and into the cathedral there with beautiful stained glass windows.

Along the way towards Beziers, we saw the French canal management people grubbing out the bases and roots of condemned plane trees. The trees that have been affected by disease are marked and cut down and the roots dug out and burned to stop the disease spreading.

Continuing on, we cruised past the villages of Poilhes and Colombiers then through the very narrow stretch of the canal until we got to the Malpas tunnel, which is 160m long.

Our mooring for the night was at the start of the Fonserannes Staircase of locks. At this point, the canal descends more than 20m into the Orb valley and there are 7 basins and 8 gates. There are fixed hours for going up or down and you have to queue to get through so in the downwards direction at this time of year, you can go down between 8am and 9:30am or 1pm and 3:30pm.

At the top of the locks, there is a shop and restaurant, for the boats that moor there at night time.



We will decide later tonight whether we get up early to go down (there are 3 boats in the queue in front of us) or watch some go down in the morning session and go down in the afternoon.


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2nd October 2017

Capestang
Yet more stained glass - brilliant. I think it is great that so many churches/cathedrals have huge windows that tell a story. It adds to the history of a place; and where there is new stained glass they manage to bring the story up to date. Have a great time on the staircase - should make for some interesting photos as you go through all those locks.

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