Friday, February 19, 2010

Steps leading up to the Pont du Canal where my three day hike began.

My three day hike from Beziers to Sete began on February 16, 2010 at the steps which lead up to the Pont du Canal, literally the Canal bridge. This viaduct carries the Canal over the River Orb, high up in the air. In this photo you can see the river to the left below the Canal.

Pont du Canal at Beziers

Day one of my walk was gray with very light rain all day gave me a good chance to test out my new rain gear the rain suit and my water proof Tilley hat both worked really well. Not far out of Beziers I saw my first boat moving on the Canal. Before I got to the end of the Canal I saw a few more looks like people are starting to get their boats ready for summer.

Day one was Beziers to Agde 25.2 KM and I was very relieved at the end of the day. I had been concerned that I might not be able to carry the back pack, I'm two years older since I last carried a full pack. I only had the pack off for a coffee in the morning and while I ate my lunch other than that I walked from 0930 to 1630 without any problems. My feet and legs were tired that night but a nights rest takes care of that.

Agde is a nice little town but just as you enter you pass in front of the church, often I see church architecture which doesn't do much of me but this one was just bug ugly. I didn't get inside so perhaps all the beauty is on the interior.

Bug ugly church at Agde

Day two from Agde to Meze a cool day and cloudy all day but no rain. I enjoyed walking along the canal there was always something new to see. Walked past this floating B&B I suppose if they didn't like you they could always move to a different location while you were out.

Floating B&B

For a while I though I had taken a wrong turn and walked into Spain. You see these large bull cutouts on hillsides everywhere in Spain advertising a brand of Sherry.

Thought I was in Spain for a minute

All of these boats are rentals and this is just a small area of them there were lots more. The Canal must be bow to stern boats in the height of summer.

All of these and many more in this area are rental boats, must be stern to bow on the canal all summer.

Half way through the day I came to the end of the Canal du Midi at Marseillan the canal empties into the Etang de Thau and boat traffic headed to the Mediterranean go the lenght of the Etang and then through the short Canal Du Rhone into the Sea.

Where the Canal du Midi enters the Etang de Thau at Marseillan

Where the Canal du Midi enters the Etang de Thau at Marseillan

From here on in the trail leaves the water edge and for the most part follows along highways also the guide book needs to be updated in one place it tells you to follow the N113 which would have been a rural road however it no longer exists it has been update to the D613 which is a major highway with lots of traffic. I carried on because I wanted to get the practice in but I wouldn't do that part of the walk again or recommend it.

Bernie chillin in the hotel at Meze.

Bernie chillin in the hotel in Meze

The last day from Meze to Sete had some nice points to it I enjoyed the little town of Bouzigues on the Etang and had lunch of Moules et Frit (Mussels and Fries) at a water side restaurant with this lovely view of the Etang.


Shortly after lunch I had a good view of Sete across the Etang only 14 KM to go, all of those structures in the water are Oyster Farms.

Sete in the distance across the Etang de Thau with oyster farms in the Etang

Arriving in Sete there were a few boats out sculling on the Canal du Rhone. All day today the weather had been perfect I didn't see a thermometer anywhere but it must have bee around 20 degrees. It was great to get the rain gear off. According to the guide book I walked 73 KM but with the amount of wrong turns I made it must have been a bit more than that. Three days to walk it and around 30 minutes by train back to Beziers.

Boating on the Canal du Rhone at Sete

I didn't take time to explore Sete just as I arrived at the station there was a train ready to return to Beziers so I took the train. It is only a half hour trip by rail and I hope to go back there the next sunny day to walk along the sea shore and explore the town.
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