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January 9, 2012

Canal des Deux Mers: Carcassonne to Bram

The D4 heads from Bram to the Canal du Midi (color IR)

Canal du Midi

We arrived in Carcassonne on the Canal du Midi expecting to stay two nights.  Somewhere we realized that one night and an afternoon exit wasn’t so different from an early morning departure after a second night in the port.  Traveling in a canal boat, we were free to stop anytime we wanted.  We are way too irresponsible to not take advantage of that type of freedom.

It rhymes: Each écluse on the Canal du Midi is marked with its name and the distance to the nearest locks. (Color IR converted to black and white.)

Soon after stuffing our larder with edibles purchased at Carcassonne’s open-air market, we loosened our lines and motored out of Carcassonne’s port.  This day there was no destination.  We’d cruise until we found a nice place to stop.  That spot appeared just past the bridge in Bram.  Pulling to the side of the canal, we drove the rental boat’s metal stakes into the bank and tied up for the night.  The spot we chose was perfect.  It was quiet; we were the only boat on the bank.  Still we were near enough to Bram that we could take the bikes and ride into the village on the path.

Next morning Becky would retrace the bike route and bring fresh croissants and pain au chocolats from the commune’s boulangerie to the boat.  (The luxury of an excellent boulangerie in every town is something we miss when we leave France.)  In the calm of the morning air our place along the canal bank was transformed.  Lush, quiet, and isolated, it felt like a large English garden.  The still fog magically misted through the trees.  Our spot was idyllic.  We had not realized it when we arrived but now it was clear; we were now in the midst of the prettiest section of the Canal du Midi.  Indeed, we had found a very, very nice place to stop.


Day 13

Start:  Carcassonne

Finish:  Bram

Travel time*:  5.4 hours

Cruising time**: 4.4 hours

Distance traveled:  25 kilometers

Lock chambers transited:  7

Weather:  Clear, moderate temps with calm wind

The gate of the Lalande double lock is open and waiting for us to enter.

Becky holds the Herault in place in the Herminis lock.

At the end of the day, our trip across France was 32% complete based on cruising time and 31% complete based on distance covered.  We had passed through 68 of the 246 locks (28%) of the locks that we would cross.

* The time between the start of the day and the end of the day.

**As measured by the hour meter on our boat.  When the motor is running we were either moving or standing by to move (like in a lock).

D4 near Bram (color IR converted to B&W)

Hire boats leave a lock

A stone bridge crosses the Canal du Midi (color IR, red and blue channels swapped)

Stone bridge (color IR)

Stone bridge (color IR, blue and red channels swapped)

A stone bridge crosses the Canal du Midi (color IR, red and blue channels swapped)


  1. Hi, i work as a designer in the “Viagem e Turismo” (Travel and
    Tourism) magazine and this month we’ll publish a story about the

    I would like to know if we could use your image of the lock. ( )

    If you want to know more about our magazine please enter:

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks! Regards,


    Comment by Ricardo Marques — January 11, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

    • Thanks for asking. I’ve replied to you directly with the details.

      Comment by anotherheader — January 11, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

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