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Inland boating with attitude


TeamElla

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Too much of the same thing can be boring.

It's sacrilege I know but we wanted a break from the Broads.

So last Saturday we were sitting on top of the (hire) boat in 27 degrees C and brilliant sunshine, for a price that Broads companies would struggle to match.

This is a recommendation for a change of scenery:-

The River Lot in France

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Hi all.

Dan,

There are 17 locks going upriver from Douelle base and 1 lock going downriver from the base.

They can be hard work, but unless a boat is going through with you there is no need to rush it.

All but one are manual and there are no lock keepers.

Just one lock is fully automatic (hydraulically operated and activated with a credit card sized card)

cheers,

Steve

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OBSERVATIONS:-

This is a holiday where you have to navigate from the word go.

There are underwater obstructions of a very hard nature (including submerged disused weirs).

They are all marked on the "chart" in the boat manual but not all physically marked on the river.

The brochure states that previous experience is advisable and to my mind it's an understatement.

There's also a pretty lax attitude to the use of lifejackets. We were told at the base that there were sufficient on board but that we wouldn't need to use them.

I wouldn't like to keep putting on the things that they provide but we had our Crewsavers with us (and I was asked by a passenger boat crewlady what the vest thing was that I had on).

What didn't I like:-

Bearing in mind that you can swim in the Lot, they still use the boat toilets as "sea toilets" even though there are perfectly good holding tanks on board. The stated reason is that there are not yet enough pump out facilities along on the river.

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wouldn't worry too much about the boats Steve, the cows along the river bank produce an awfull lot more.

Looks a stunning place though, glad you enjoyed it. where abouts in france is it, from the temps I am assuming it to be way down south and as such out of reach for UK boaters.

Ian

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"Locks,locks, what locks? ".......... :oops:

They're everywhere Graham, I can see one out of my window now :-D broads aside, big ones, small ones some as big as the Bure (To paraphrase the song) the first one you would enounter is called Mutford, after that they are manifold. :-D

We have to lock in and out every trip now and whilst it's normally OK it can be a bit of a wait at busy times :( . We used to moor on a system that was full of the things and that was a pain before you even saw any salty stuff. Cruising narrowboaters must be masochists.

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Locks ? we had 10 years onthe Cambridgeshire Ouse.Mostly power operated now,but a great social addition on that river .We made friends in those locks ( and on the river ) that we still have today.A great river but cant beat the open cruising of our Broads. cheersbar:Stinky

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Ian,

It's in the Midi Pyrenees, south east of Bordeaux, well south west of Lyon and a bit north of Toulouse.

No cow's here (but we did see a few rather agile goats).

Most of the land flat enough to farm supports an altogether more satisfying beverage (see pic) cheers

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Hi Steve,

It looks lovely, and quiet, where are all the other boats??? May have to try and persuade Col that the French aren't all bad (That opinion is based on a couple trip through France by car and actually is directed more at motor way hotel staff than French people in general) :)

Lou

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Hi all,

We saw very few other boats, which could have something to do with this being the end of the season.

It's a nice time to be on the river with the trees starting to take on their autumn colours. At the end of the week on the lower stretches, the river was covered with their leaves.

Some businesses were already closed for the winter but we had a nice meal at a riverside restaurant near Cahors.

This was a convenient place to stop with a proper pontoon mooring and fresh water to top up the tank. There's also a swimming pool adjacent to the restaurant, but that's only open in the summer.

Although the superb weather that we had cannot be guaranteed, a fair number of good days can be expected there in October (and that 27 degrees C reading was a genuine in the shade figure).

We did have rain but only overnight on 2 nights at the beginning of our week.

To my knowledge, there are only 2 hire bases on the Lot and they both seemed to have only a handful of boats out on hire (spread over the entire 75 kms of navigation).

We hired from "LeBoat" (an amalgation of Connoisseur, Crown Blue Line and Emerald Star) with their base being Douelle.

The other company is called "Lot Navigation" and operates from Bouzies further upriver.

Both have websites:-

www.leboat.co.uk/destination/france/lot

www.lot-navigation.com/index-en.html

cheers,

Steve

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