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March 2005

March 26th 2005


We have set off along the canal again. As always, it is difficult to move on. There are things on the boat that have to be done. Food supplies to be bought. Water, diesel, paraffin to be topped up while we know the sources. People to be left.  Pudsy, the retriever puppy, to be left behind. We have watched him grow through the winter into an amiable, good tempered friend.


We have to find a way to part from other crews. It  varies in difficulty. We have been surprised how much we hear from and re-encounter those we loved and liked. A very few we are glad to leave behind. More often we are surprised by the loss.


We aim south-east, as does the canal. This seems prudent.


The lock-keepers are fresh and pleased to help us through. One even enjoys trying out his English in an effort to open the low turning bridge in Moissac with the minimum disruption to late afternoon traffic and his clocking off time.


Moissac has a fine old abbey church – now the Eglise St. Pierre. The carved limestone doorways are magnificent and the old cloisters fine, with their eighteen arches on each side  supported by columns with intricately carved capitals. The interior of the church has been painted. The walls look like linoleum to me. And most of the abbey buildings were demolished when the Bordeaux to Sete railway was pushed through. The remaining church and cloisters are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.