Our last night in Homps we had dinner at En Bonne Compagnie, a restaurant run by an English couple who were very understanding about the need of certain travelers to do a bit of internet business before the meal. There were a few tense days while the house sale negotiations were in progress, but thanks to Tim’s acting as attorney and working with Rose, all seems to be going well.
Alas, Irene and Stan have jumped ship. Their so-called cabin and bathroom proved so cramped and uncomfortable that they’ve decided to sleep at gites each night and join us for part of the days. It works all right because we travel so slowly that they can walk back from their accommodation along the towpath and come aboard at a lock or somewhere we’ve moored up for lunch. They usually arrive with fresh baguettes, so they’re doubly welcome.
The journey from Homps to Marseillette was a bit traumatic – six locks, most of them doubles or triples. We put a couple of dints in the barge going under very narrow bridges on tight turns. I managed to get the lines tangled in the locks and hurt my ankle leaping off and to top it off, a plastic boat overtook us at speed and swerved across our bow. To avoid ramming him, Alan steered into the trees on the bank and a branch snapped some of our back railing off.
So … we’re feeling rather defeated and wondering whether a few days at Trebes will be sufficient to recuperate and press on. The alternative is to ask John to pick the boat up from here. We’ll postpone making that decision for a while. Our confidence wasn’t boosted by seeing a woman lying on the ground being tended by para medics in an ambulance. She’d broken her leg by landing heavily after a jump from her boat at the lock here.
Meantime, Trebes is a lively little village with plenty of restaurants and other facilities (at last a chance to do some washing in a laundromat!). Oddly there’s no on-land holiday accommodation, so Irene and Stan have gone on to Carcassonne to find some. I suppose the clients of the boat company have their own beds. The four of us had dinner at one of the restaurants last night and I horrified everyone by choosing a salade aux gesiers (gizzards). It was very tasty and I felt it was time to get a little more adventurous with the local cuisine.
We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of ‘nature’ mooring under the plane trees versus a berth in the busy ports. While there’s a need at times for water and shore power, it’s generally much preferable to have shade and privacy. It’s a 20 minute brisk walk into town, but along the way we see flotillas of tiny ducklings with their anxious looking parents. When they chase after crumbs of baguette they almost run on top of the water.