Lynn watches petanque game in park beside our St Chinian apartment

These drinkers caught Brian photographing them and hammed it up.

Further to the previous web page, we are now including additional photos from our six day sojourn in the village together with a handful of others taken during various excursions near enough for comfortable day trips.

We were particularly looking forward to following the Canal du Midi for a hundred kilometres or so because over the years we had often dreamed of renting a barge on one of the French canal systems. Nowadays the cost is astronomical and most people manage it by sharing the cost between four or five couples. We're glad we've seen it but now know it's not for us. The scenery along the canal is pleasant enough but very repetitious. I guess our many previous family boating holidays have totally spoiled us. We liked the way many passenger took to bicycles and followed their barges along the parallel cycle tracks but we hated the congestion of boats at every village along the canal. Ok for Europeans but not really our idea of a boating holiday.

This quaint old windmill was on the hill overlooking Saint-Chinian

A really really rustic back alley in Saint-Chinian village in the Languedoc

"Hey, do I look like a Frenchman?" Mais non, non, NON Monsieur!

Rented barges on Le Canal du Midi

We re-named this one the "Gypsy Queen"

This fancy barge somehow got here from Belgium.... go figure!

There's a bicycle track alongside the canal and all barges had bicycles

Most towns along the canal were choked with boats buying provisions

We're not really sure of the population of Sète but we think it may be the second largest French Mediterranean city after Marseilles. The day we visited Sète it was brilliantly sunny and stinking hot. In spite of all the traffic we pulled off a double miracle. We found a 2½ hour free parking spot near a very clean toilet. That's like winning first AND second prize in the NSW State Lottery!! It was just enough time to explore the harbour area on foot and have a seafood lunch down by the quay. By the way we both seem to be drinking rather a lot of the local plonk since we've been in France but we haven't been feeling any adverse effect.

Minerve is totally surrounded by a deep chasm. Note aqueduct on left

The Mediterranean port of Sète in Languedoc-Roussillon region

Sète was a pretty port city but too big and fast paced for our taste

This multi-hulled power boat would give unwary swimmers a fright

Cheap "Handyman Special". Includes rusty motor and 74kg of seaweed

Cheap holiday flat with air-con, satellite television & blue clothes line

Unfortunately we are getting well behind with our newsletter instalments and currently seem to be running 10 days late. Brian has vowed to do a bit of serious catching up so expect another instalment within the next 24 hours or less. There's so much to show and so much to tell and we can only but skim the surface in these brief  web pages.

Still it's nice to think of you being along for the ride and we find ourselves thinking of each of you in various contexts. We're often saying to each other such things as.... "Luke would love that surfing poster on his wall", or "Donna and John would love this restaurant", or "Jayden and Liam would have a ball on that jumping castle", or "if only Margaret could get her hands on the jewellery in this shop", or "if Bruce got started on wine tasting in this cellar he'd still be here in a month's time", or "Keith would take his life in his hands doing his daily run along the streets around here". Yes, several of you get mentioned in our conversations every day. We bet you didn't know that.