From Wheels to Float

We left Simon and Hilary with great regret; their hospitality and warmth, as well as, their friendship made our stay in PuyCalvel a very special one, but it is on to our next adventure aboard our boat on the Lot River.  Suitcases back on top of the car, everything we could manage to take stuffed in the car and off to Douelle.   Naturally, we were early, so we dropped off our bags at the office to make room for provisions for the boat while we have the car.  We caught the Saturday market in Cahors, picking up pears, melon, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, peaches, croissants, a pork roast, sausage, red and yellow peppers, and an apple tart.   We took our purchases back to the car and walked through town looking for a place to eat.  We found a street cafe names Au Bureau and, as a first for all of us, ordered cheese burgers. Very good – never had one in France before, and this was great!

Stopped by the LeClerc to finish up provisioning and then back to the boat.  After unloading the car, Shoe and Mike returned the car to the train station in Cahors. The rest of us assessed space on board and unpacked groceries.

Our boat, a Royal Manifique, is 47 feet long with a width of 13 feet 6 inches. Forward is a cabin with double berth, behind it on the starboard side is another cabin with a double berth,  Across from that cabin are two small closet-type spaces: one with a head and sink, the other a shower compartment. Just behind that forward configuration is the “spacious” salon, equipped with flat screen television and satellite, as well as CD/radio/MP3 player – and inside steering in case of inclement weather.  A huge banquette took up most of the space with a removable table, that was too large for the space.  Aft of the salon is a galley, with extremely limited storage space for foodstuffs – but room for two bar stools.  Aft of the galley are two more cabins each with their own en-suite bathroom.  All heads have been newly modernized with electric toilets.  We chose to put our luggage in the cabin on the forward starboard side (the smallest and most centrally located).  The top deck was spacious and equipped with a banquette, a plastic table and 4 plastic chairs, as well as two small umbrellas. In reality the table was too big for the space and tripping over chairs or pushing the  furniture around to get knees in place was difficult.  Everything looked nice when we were getting settled, just after time, we all had bumps and bruises on our shins.

Our first night out, we tied up to a tree, next to this vineyard!

When Mike and Shoe returned, we were checked in by first Alex and then Oliver.  Then we took a quick run upriver to get used to the boat before going through our first lock to go downriver.  Mild confusion on the part of the boat ahead of us trying to get to the lock; it ended up sideways in the channel.  While we were waiting a crew jumped in line ahead of us in the lock and we had to wait longer.

We made through and cruised down to a mooring up spot.  We tied up to a tree next to a vineyard on one side and cliffs of limestone on the other.

As the sun sets, the sky takes on a pink glow!

Comment: “People pay big money to tie up to a vineyard!

Comment: We left no wine uncorked and no toilette unused in our pursuit of happiness

We closed the evening with a glass of wine and Shoe smoked a cigar aft top deck. We adjourned to the salon where we indulged in dinner of roasted chicken from the LeClerc and our apple tart!  Then to bed!

Is Shoe on fire? No, just smoking his cigar

Some happy crew, getting ready for dinner! Pat, Carol, and Lou!

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