Thursday 21st September 2023
During the morning the carpark started to thin out and we set off, walking to the marina around 1030am; we were due to meet the broker at the car park entrance at 1100hrs. Last night we had “debated” which way was the quickest to get to the marina, so this morning we headed off on different routes!!! Today it overcast and a “will it” or “won’t it” rain moment took place and should we take our coats; one did one didn’t!!!
This whole area around us is nicely laid out with several paths winding along the river, and through the trees all geared up for cyclists and joggers, in fact just walking was slightly hazardous!!! We both arrived at the marina, but in different parts of the car park early so telephoned the broker (Graham) to see if he was available earlier, and he was, he had driven from his office on the MIDI, a four hour drive away!!! We met and headed to view the “Kotter” moored on a pontoon right at the far end of the marina.
This “Kotter” is 12.85 meters (42ft), an ideal length for cruising the inland waterways of Europe and in necessary sturdy enough to go to sea and do coastal work. Our first impression was that the description given by the broker was actually correct, she looked immaculate from the outside, no sign of “bumping or boring” alongside the commercial traffic in the big locks on the rivers; a good start. Because we had the dogs and Graham suggested they did “not” come aboard, so Christine waited whilst I went inside first. Again first impression was how immaculate it was, albeit very cluttered as one would expect as the vendors have been living on her for the past year. I poked about in most cupboards, fired up the engine, walked the decks and struggled to find any fault, well perhaps the asking price!!!! There is no doubt this boat would suit us perfectly, comfortable to live aboard for prolonged periods, sturdy enough for the busy rivers and locks and sea worthy for coastal passages. Our one big question hanging over her is; “why has she been on the market since March”??? She is immaculate and well looked after; asking price perhaps??. Graham the broker had no answer to that but assured us there was nothing onerous about this time scale, hmmmmmm???? She is a very nice boat, “food” for thought!! Back in the van and Supermarket next
By the time we left the supermarket, and this was a “Mega” sized one, it was raining so had a quick bite before heading back to Chusclan, a safe place for the night but more importantly the dogs have the river to jump in and out of. We had a plan this time, “NO MORE WINE”!!!!!
The weather improved and the sun came out as we headed south again and arrived at the “Aire de Camping Car, Chusclan”, and to our astonishment it was closed; “shock, horror”, what’s going on here?? Once we’d got over the shock we read the sign, it was only closed for two nights; last night and tonight😡😡😡. OK Chateauneuf de Pape, the vineyard we know, but again no more wine!!!!
Minding our own business, pottering along the French lanes amongst the vineyards when we suddenly came across the ”perfect” place, a parking area between two sections or the river Rhône with ample dog walking territory. The temptation to acquire more wine from our favourite vineyard was gone; a bitter sweet moment!!!
Parked at the end all by ourselves, dogs exercised dinner completed, we enjoyed the peace and quiet and reflected on what we’d viewed earlier in the day