Jackie Parry – author


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Where are all the barges?

Well? Tell me?  Yes, yes, they are probably more sensible and have NOT come to the Canal du Midi in peak season.

Peak season? I thought we were safe after August. How little do we know! But we have not seen ONE OTHER barge on the move (except a hotel barge).

We travelled through a system of 6 locks with these two boats. We let them over-take us on the canal - then they wouldn't let us in the next lock!

We travelled through a system of 6 locks with these two boats. We let them over-take us on the canal – then they wouldn’t let us in the next lock!

There are mobs and mobs of hire boats, a whole gaggle of them. Great, lovely….. some of them are. Others are rude, obnoxious, block the locks and worse have NO IDEA where a boat’s pivot point is!

At the helm , they assume they are in a car, so astern propulsion (yes, astern propulsion, not reverse)…. is incredibly exciting to watch and completely terrifying if you are any-where near  the ‘helms-person.’

The wash keeps boats apart.

The wash keeps boats apart.

I know, the old hands here (less of the old please!) will have heard and suffered this before. But for us it is an eye opener. Thirteen years ago I don’t remember having this trouble, I thought people had less money for holidays now, not more.

Oh, I know, it is the Midi.  Someone wrote a book once about sailing the Red Sea, they called it, ‘Once Is Enough.’ I may do a 5th book, (yes there are more to come), about The Midi, as beautiful as it is, ‘Once is Enough!’

Pleasant company.

Pleasant company.