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Day 21 - Canal des Deux Mers, done
Le Réole to Langon
|The headline ("Canal des Deux Mers, done") implies triumph. That's the two canals done (Canal du Midi and Canal latérale à la Garonne). It's what I came for. But I felt relief rather than triumph.
The scenery today could hardly be beaten, as far as these canals go, but the last miles were agony. Wearing my pack again reminds me how hard that is. As well as my shoulders, it affects my knees. At the end of the day, I struggled to find accommodation in Langon, dragging myself around looking.
First thing in the morning, I left La Réole by crossing the Garonne on the bridge pictured yesterday, and took a direct route to the canal, which I'd missed for the last two days. It was good to be back. It's almost a haven. The weather was misty and cold in the morning when I first got there, but warmed in the afternoon. In the morning I had to hold the hiking stick with alternate hands so as to warm the other hand in my pocket. In the afternoon, I sweltered even with my coat unzipped and only two layers of clothes beneath it.
After a photography session at Castets-en-Dorthe, which is where the canal ends and its waters enter the Garonne, I followed country lanes to Langon. I found accom at the third attempt, somewhat out of town beside the autoroute. But worse was to come, and I'm not referring to their nonfunctional wifi.
When I tried to book accom for tomorrow, Podensac (meaning the accom at this town) was closed, Portets was full, and there isn't anywhere else half as suitably located. I would have stayed in Langon and walked to a train station like Portets, and taken the train back. But the rail strike continues tomorrow, and I just haven't the energy to try to find my way around the problem. So I'm going to cross the Garonne again and stop in Cadillac. It'll be a shorter day, quite a relief, but it makes the next night's accom an unknown, because I won't be able to walk Cadillac to Bordeaux in one day. It will take me three days to reach Bordeaux.