A Lot of Water......
...............Over the Bridge
This is the fourth and (probably) last in the Saul Trader series. We have now reached the sultry summer climes of the south of France and seem reluctant to return to the frozen north. We travel to the western end of the Midi encountering more characters in the shape of an enterprising Belgian hippie and his crazy Dutch girlfriend, a naval officer that goes by the name of Tommy Trinder and a boules-obsessed English country vicar. In the cosmopolitan city of Toulouse, a city of contrasts we find amongst the hubbub a real Irish bar and suffer once again at the hands of the kleptomaniac. There is solace on the Canal Garonne and an expensive and nearly disastrous repair job at Castets en Dorthe. Pretty towns come and go as we pass through the peaceful settlements of the Garonne - Moissac, Meilhan and Mas d’Agenais with its secret treasure. There are more characters, some good and some not so - a gift from the skipper of a hotel barge for being ‘nice’, a careless French mechanic who drives his van into my car, and Serge, a wonderfully helpful and proficient repairer of all things boat. We retrace steps back to the Rhone, crossing the large inland sea, the Étang de Thau, and are held up by more breakdowns resulting in parts having to be sent from England, and our guests bravely enduring 100° heat for hours on end to sort out problems with, of all things, overheating!
We finally return to the lovely welcoming port of Moissac where we find a permanent year-round mooring, something that we have never had before in the 20 years we have owned Saul Trader.