The few days R and R have certainly helped our physical state, but the thought of further manoeuvering the Mere Maria into tight mooring spots and through locks is just too daunting. Plus, Alan spends way too much of his time fixing things that constantly break down or maybe have never worked properly (the toilets spring to mind). To carry on, he says we would have to organise more water, gas bottles, fuel and auxiliary batteries for charging the IT devices. Too much.
The owner generously offered to pilot us up to Carcassonne (six locks, most doubles or triples) but finally we decided to admit defeat and call a halt. It’s a blow to pride as much as anything, but preferable to being in a constant state of stress during what after all is a holiday.
What followed was a day in limbo, feeling disappointed with ourselves and at a loss to know what to do next. I realised how adrift I am without a plan. Alternatives all seemed too expensive or too much trouble, until the obvious idea surfaced: we could continue to travel the Canal du Midi if we hired one of the small plastic boats. That way, we might be able to rebuild some boat handling confidence and keep intact the main purpose of the trip. So tomorrow Irene and Stan will drive us to Carcassonne to check out hiring options.
Before we abandon the Mere Maria, here are a few images of some of the best and worst moments.
Oh dear, didn't mean to upload the ducklings twice, but they were very cute. Every morning there were fewer so the attrition rate must be severe. Alan is inclined to blame the coypu, the introduced rodent (not sure of the spelling).