Tying up for the evening
We are traveling through France by cruising along the canals in a rented boat. With just a little planning, you can almost always have a nice place to tie up at a small town along the way. The boat rental companies may give you a binder with a guide to your route, listing suggested tie-up points and towns with restaurants and grocery stores along the way.
Some villages had regular tie-up points built with wooden or steel bollards. In some cases we would need to drive stakes to tie up, as you see here.
Yes, the boat could be locked up, and we did, but security just didn't seem to be a big issue.
Depending on the bank, at some places we could simply step off onto the shore. We had a gangplank for places where we needed it.
There would be plenty of time to explore the town.
Some small towns are pretty quiet in the evening.
They all had some nice place to get dinner, and a bakery and pastry shop where we could return in the morning to pick up breakfast.
We're tied up for the night on the Canal Lateral à la Loire near Nevers.
Mid-June through mid-July is not only the most expensive time to rent a boat, it can be awfully hot.
And just like in the midwestern US, really hot and humid weather can lead to some impressive storms.
Here you can see distinct precipitation columns falling from storm clouds. Note the mammus formations on the bottom of the cloud, a sign of turbulence sometimes seen in storms that spawn tornados.
OK, that's getting closer... We were able to get into the beginning of a section of canal running through a woods, so the wind wasn't as bad as it might have been.
We were hit with some very heavy precipitation and high winds. Some rain and lots of hail about 1 cm in diameter.
The aftermath on the rear deck include piles of hail and lots of leaves beat from the trees.
This storm happened on the next-to-last day of our first trip, in late June on the Canal Latéral à la Loire in central France.
Our second trip was in mid-May on the Canal du Midi in southern France. The weather was variable, sunny and hot on some days, and cloudy and a bit cool on others. You're in the south of France, so you can expect both hot sun and cool breezes out of the Pyrenees Mountains.
Canal Latéral à la Loire
One week and 130 kilometers by canal boat through Burgundy from Briare to Decize
Canal du Midi
One week and 157 kilometers by canal boat through Languedoc from Béziers to Castelnaudary