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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

You are supposed to be practicing French not Spanish!

June 20, 2011

Off to the train which was literally underneath our hotel.  (Hooray for the Internet and the ability to pre-plan, which I do so love!)  We had checked it out the night before and found it looked easy.  Tracks each has a letter and a bit board told you which train was on which track.  Piece-o-cake.  That is till we got there to find our train had a number not a letter.  Where the hell are the numbered tracks?  With only 20 minutes to departure the panic starts to set in…  Dave leaves me with the luggage to hunt for the track.  And sure enough, they are way the other side of the station.  We get to the line 10 minutes before departure.  Much pushing and shoving of everyone trying to get to the platform.  Ok, now I understand Paris rudeness!  We made it with 2 minutes to spare!  Whew!

Everyone in our train car but us brought lunch from the same sandwich shop.  Note to self: if we do this again… I slept most of the way.  Lunch was served and was pretty good, but dang it they promised coffee that never showed up.

We took a taxi from the train station in Beziers to the boat in Capestang.  Quick checkout.  It’s not like you need to know how to navigate – you are driving down a ditch for all intents and purposes.  None the less, the guy was impressed (“you don’t even need the bow thruster to turn around!”).  And then a trip to the store for supplies and a couple of bottles of wine.  We rode our bikes into town to a tiny shop.  After having paid, we realized there were plastic jugs of wine.  Dang!  Would rather have bought the local than whatever was in the bottles we bought.  (Later we saw locals at wineries bring their Gerry cans (what looked like gas cans) in to be filled directly from the winery.)

We departed about 6pm.  Note to self:  Hmmm, maybe next time it would be worth taking the earlier train from Paris.  One of the reasons we went this direction was so that we could go through the tunnel shown below.  It was the first tunnel ever dug for a canal.  It was dug out by hand, 100 years before America declared independence.  The laborers who built the whole canal – including digging out this tunnel were mostly women (guessing that is because that is who was available).

We got as far as Colombiers for dinner.

Up until now, everyone we encountered spoke English.  Almost disappointingly so.  I’ve not gotten to really try out my French, as before I can open my mouth to give it a try, someone nearby has already switched to English.  But we are now finally at a restaurant where everything is in French, and no one admits to speaking a word of English.  After some confusion about the lunch vs. dinner menu and much careful reading, I managed to order us a 4 course meal and actually knew more or less what would be served – at least what the main ingredient would be.  It was our first “real French meal”.  Ahhh… Why would we ever go home again?

At one point I seriously blew it though.  Remember dear reader, that most of the time when we are in a foreign land, we are in Mexico.  So I am fighting the desire to say “Gracias” as opposed to “Merci” most of the time thus far.  So at one point I say to the waitress, “muy bueno”.  The waitress giggles.  Dave looks at me and starts to laugh.  Ok, next time “Trés Bien”.  Big smile from the waitress this time.

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