After a rainy afternoon trip up to Carcassonne, the next morning we headed back down toward the Mediterranean. Aside from a mishap in one of the locks, we cruised right along through the small towns that line the canal. With the decline of commercial barge trade, and the distance from the railway lines and highway, these towns have remained largely as they were a century ago. There’s a leisurely feel that may not be great for the residents, but makes visiting them a wonderful experience. 

There were a number of “lock dogs” along the way. Some seemed to come from houses nearby just to greet the boaters and keep an eye on things. Others belonged to the lock keepers. Either way, they were friendly and welcoming. 

A highlight was the Chateau/Winery in Ventenac. Right on the canal, so you could tie up right out front and walk in, it was fun to visit and the wine was lovely. It was a little different buying the table wine by the liter.

All in all, the scenery was great, the wine was excellent, and the company couldn’t be beat.