I went for a bike ride today along the Canal du Midi that passes close by where I’m staying at the moment. The canal is a beautifully peaceful waterway that threads a 241 km (150 mi) long path through the vineyards, towns, and villages of Southern France. It’s one of a network of canals that connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean sea.
After just a few minutes slowly riding along the canal, overtaking the barges that gently chug along the canal at no more than 5 km/h (3 mph), I came upon this little pub that sits on the side of the sleepy waterway.
The tables outside are ideal for sitting and watching the boats slowly pass by, slow enough that you can exchange a few words with the people on board. It was a perfect place for a refreshing drink on a sunny afternoon.
As I sat there I imagined life on a houseboat, a life that no doubt presenting itself in the best light on this sunny summer afternoon. My mind wandered to days spent slowly traveling through the south of France like some kind of water gypsy, quietly mooring near small towns and villages for a few days here and there, sitting on deck with a glass of wine and some good bread and cheese to hand as I watch cyclists and the occasional runner pass by my little moving home. It seemed like a good way to live, at least in my imagination it did.
Stand here using Google street view (though the canal was drained when Google went there).