Unfortunately, even while you are on holiday, matters back home still need to be taken care of. We are fortunate enough to have John and Ann looking after the house, the cat and the mail. Financially we are supported by our diminishing savings, which of late have taken a bit hit from insurances. I can’t believe how much we pay out in life, medical, property, accident, travel and vehicle insurances. To help insure my accountancy income I have to keep up the continuing education, so the morning starts with a 90 minute webinar on Whittaker’s Chocolate success. Boring matters out of the way we went south to Agen via two mill caches in Montpezat and rural Agen.
Agen have two central city markets, an uncovered Farmers market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and a covered market held every day, except Monday. The Farmers market was good, however the covered market was extremely disappointing with only a dozen stalls of meat, fish and produce. Getting out of town and finding a park for lunch was a little tricky as today is Wednesday which means a half day for school children. Being a lovely day, kids were being picked up from the central city schools and driven to a park for lunch; we followed very slowly in the congested traffic. Today’s taste of France (no photo) comes from our supermarket convenience lunch, pre-sliced terrine and cheese, for the rusticly torn baguette.
Agen has a lot of geocaches but not many attractive old churches or buildings, so we decided to cache around the canal. The same canal that flows from Toulouse to Bordeaux also flows through Agen, over roads and over the large Lot River. The geocaching wasn’t very exciting but the “le Boat” pleasure craft coming down the canal, through three close locks and over the aqueduct was interesting. Mere male sits in the boat, little woman runs between the locks, opens them, hooks the ropes and tethers the stern. French word of the day ‘chauvin’ = ‘chauvinistic’. Le Boats the size of the one in the photo can be hired for €350 a day plus extra for bikes, internet, fuel etc. Not cheap, but nice views, enjoyed at a very slow pace.
It would be a shame to come all this way and not take in some history, so we went to Villascopia. For €6 you can visit the site (or mock construction) of a 4th century luxury Gallo-Roman bathhouse or spa retreat ruins. We watched a 40 minute 3D movie in French, visited the museum and the villa remains. I wouldn’t recommend it and noted other people just visiting the remains.
The trip home included a visit to a hill, with a cross, a cache and an information board. If you are prepared to walk to the point you can see the convergence of the Lot and the Garonne. We also stopped at Lagruere for a cache in a small garden reserve set up for children to discover plants, insects and fishes. The route home took us along the canal, crossing over small bridges several times. There were lots of boats that looked permanently parked up.
A couple of people who decided to try living in France for three months, to absorb some of the culture and to try a diet of Baguette, Cheese and Wine.