Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An Easter Walk

While the weather on Easter Sunday was a little too 'iffy' for the planned picnic, Lucie and I did do an Easter walk. It was a cloudy, cool day with the sun peeking out occasionally just for a tease...not the best day for photographs or picnics, but nice for walking. We drove to Bouzies which sits on the other side of the Lot River and is reached by one of those one-way bridges that are so common around here. This one is so narrow that I did a drive-by first to make sure it was actually a bridge for cars, not just pedestrians! During the summer season, Bouzies is a busy place as Lot Navigation is based there offering river trips for sight-seeing tourists, as well as boats for rent. Our goal, however, was not a boat trip, but this path...the chemin de halage.

The chemin de halage or towpath was excavated through the cliffs along the Lot in 1847 allowing men and teams of animals to pull barges transporting goods and materials upriver. These cliffs ,which sit directly below St.-Cirq-Lapopie, are sheer right down to the river's surface. This beautiful bas-relief wall sculpture was added in 1985 as part of a rehabilitation project. Lucie and I had a nice stroll along the path; we met several other people...and dogs...enjoying the afternoon along the river despite the cool weather.

Today only pleasure boats cruise the Lot. In this photo that I took in 2009, you see one in the lock which will allow it to move upriver. It's still a lot of manual work, though. The lock gates must be hand-cranked open and closed.
And boaters must scramble up and down these steep stone steps to tie up their water craft. Looks like a lot of work to me; Lucie and I would rather stroll!

1 comment:

  1. Your Easter walk looks delightful. It reminds me of walking along the banks of the Aigue Brun river here in the Luberon. It's not much of a "river" most of the year, more like a stream. But in the spring there's lots of water and the banks are glowing with wild primrose.