In the night, Madame Edith was pestered by Monsieur Alphonse though it was probably just the bucket. It was that kind of mooring. The locals were a bit odd even by our standards. Particularly the guy who spent an age lolling against the lamppost and the other one who kept stepping outside his door to make sure we were still there.
Speaking of odd, why do the French let their dogs crap everywhere without bagging it up? Do they actually enjoy standing in it?
Sadly our mooring was the repository for all of the dog poo in the entire town. Not nice by any measure. Add to that the fact that it rained for a good proportion of the night and you have some pretty slushy stuff to avoid.
Even so, we managed to avoid it and were about to leave when the boat decided not to start. The normal annoying beep beep beep had been replaced by an even more annoying double bleep, double bleep, double bleep that went on forever.
Eventually John rang the boat hire people who refused to do anything until he pronounced the name of the town properly. There are two possible ways to say ‘Agen’ and, apparently, he chose the wrong one.
It turned out that the boat wouldn’t work because there wasn’t enough water in the engine. Even given the gallons that had fallen overnight, it still needed more. We figured they’d actually forgotten to check following their efforts to fix the heaters which are the last things we need as opposed to an engine that works.
Anyway, John and Jon sorted it out and we managed to get ourselves moving for about 15 minutes when we stopped at the septic tank factory to go and buy groceries.
While most Weasels journeyed forth to supermarkets afresh, Bev and I stayed behind. I stayed in order to clean the boat. I think Bev stayed to rearrange her wardrobe.
And glories of glories, the successful Weasels returned with a mop! It’s hard to put into words how happy that made me. I’ve been missing the proper swabbing that a deck requires.
And so we ventured forth. It was slow and steady through the French countryside spotting the unusual pigeon houses on the way, but we managed to move a few kilometres nevertheless.
And the Lycra Americans. This bunch of guys were cycling from Paris to Barcelona and stopped for a chat while we went through a lock.
Speaking of locks, our crack team of lock operatives is working brilliantly. In fact, every time we approach a lock, Antelope Man and Gazelle Boy leap into action proving to be the lock team par excellence.
Sometimes Gazelle Boy leaps before he looks which can result in major wetness but generally the two are superb. Each lock, successfully navigated is a testimony to their supreme teamwork skills.
Here’s a rare picture of the elusive Gazelle Boy in action.
But enough of that.
We managed a stop and wander around the mysterious town of Valence de Agen which had a very interesting middle ages laundry quite near the dock…
And an odd sort of Joan in the church.
It was a circle round the town and back on board. The aim was to make Moissac before nightfall and we were taking no prisoners in the attempt.
Eventually we caught up with the rain… or it caught up with us and John and I sat in ponchos as the water fell, the thunder rumbled and the lightning flashed. It was glorious. Okay it was also quite wet but it was still glorious.
In time the rain stopped and the sun came out just as we started to head into Mossiac with a confident Bev at the helm.
Pulling into a convenient mooring we were greeted by a very friendly Australian harbour master who told us where to go and what to do…in the nicest possible way. Actually he also said that they already had enough Australians and I was surplus to requirements but I chose to ignore that.
After a bit of a rest we headed into town for a magnificent meal at a local eatery right beside the amazing Abbey. It was almost spoiled by an overpowering smell of cologne from a table of French wankers who also smoked far too much and watched X Factor on a phone far too loudly.
However, apart from the other diners, it was all marvellous. In particular my brie with truffles was exceptional.
And that was that for another adventure filled day.