The top deck of the boat was soaking wet this morning but I guess clear skies will do that.
John and I went into Moissac for the all important breakfast pastries and I was astounded to find that they had jesuitas! Naturally I had to have one. (I can report that it was very nice but slightly over cooked.)
We had decided last night that we would all pop into the big old Abbey for a look see this morning before heading back down the canal. It’s one of the things that Moissac is known for (perhaps the only thing) and to miss it would be unforgivable.
First up I asked Lorna to take a photo of me with a couple of the locals…
…before we headed inside.
What an amazing place. The entrance has to be seen to be believed. A whole host of heavenly sculptures adorn every available surface. From demon snakes eating womanly breasts to cheeky rats. They’re all there. The most ornate front door I’ve ever seen.
On the inside the church is completely painted with a sort of primitive pattern that looks like wallpaper.
The overall effect is spectacular and so much more interesting than the usual stone and sobriety one normally experiences in these places.
But while the church is amazing the cloister is something else again. It’s supposed to be the oldest of its kind on Earth. That’s a mighty claim…though I guess some cloister has to be the oldest so why not this one?
Possibly more amazing than the cloister was the door that even Lorna had to duck through. That’s a first.
The other extraordinary thing about the cloister was the number of noisy tourists who weren’t listening to their tour guide. They were so noisy they couldn’t hear her anyway so listening was not an option. Though there was one old chap who was standing, all ears, about an inch away from her. Or possibly deaf.
We didn’t need a tour guide because John bought a guide book and told us everything we needed to know.
We spent a delightful while then started back for the boat so that Gazelle Boy could find some needle and thread in order to fix the button on his favourite shorts which had decided to break yesterday. The button, not the shorts. We also wanted to buy some brie with truffle but Moissac appears to be the only French town without a cheese shop.
And so, short on cheese but long on ecclesiastical history we released the boat and set sail. John had to perform an excellent u-turn but eventually we were headed in the right direction, through the swing bridge and into the next lock.
Of course, now we’re going down steam so the locks are a lot easier to get through. It only needs one person with a rope and one to push the button. It’s very easy and so the trip down is a lot quicker and less stressful.
This was good because Jon cooked dinner tonight (a lovely chicken risotto without any salt but lots of cream) which meant he couldn’t do quite as many locks as he did on the way up.
Then I had some bad news.
I’ve had to conserve my phone because we don’t always have any electricity and I like to post a blog each day. So I only turn it on every few hours in case there is anything from Mirinda.
It was one of these times that I had an email from Nick at work. It was with great sadness that I read that my time at the Science Museum has come to an end. I won’t bore anyone with the details but I have finished. That’s it. It’s very sad.
Moving right along…
We eventually wound up back at Agen.
A few Weasels went into town while three of us stayed behind.
This strange statue that purports to be Pandora was rather intriguing but the spot we stopped in was not popular.
It was my fault because I wanted electricity. I don’t like being without electricity. I rather like my phone as well as it provides me with everything including the time but…well hey ho, there you go. I’ll say nothing more on the subject. Until next time.
Tomorrow we hope to head down the La Blaise river. I’m thinking we might end up going full native. I’m preparing myself by deprivation of some sort… I’m trying to think of something… Well, maybe I’ll just go to sleep…
By the way, Jon’s chicken risotto was delicious. Okay it might have needed a bit of salt but, in all honesty, he did a brilliant job. Like Anthea before him, the food for seven was a marvel. I couldn’t do it. My hat is off to them both.