Five years a go my wife and I decided to take our small sail boat through the French canals, reaching the Med. via Paris and the Biscay via Bordeaux. Re-rigged, we proceeded to southernBrittany to cross our earlier track from the UK, achieving a sort of circumnavigation. Throughout the trip we met and enjoyed many people, experiences and events. The search for strange beasts in Paris; coping with giants on the Rhone; out-facing bloody handed Popes in the South West; encountering heroes of Louis XIV and WW2 were sort of common daily fodder. A theme therefore emerged of Authors Dorothy and the Scarecrow following their own Yellow Brick Road; Dorothy to find herself and the Scarecrow to get some brains and meeting the real-life heroes and villains of this French-style Munchkin-land. This is not just a travel account but seeks to explore the major features of the physical and cultural landscape. We had a medieval tapestry to find in Paris before tackling the high canals and facing the bully Rhone. With Paul Riquet we enjoyed France's southern canals and traced the Celtish traditions and the awful events of the Cathar Herasy. Sabastian Vauban and his Atlantic Wall left his mark as did the battle to breach the German Atlantic Wall. And so on. This is not a technical pilot but does intend to be informative and entertaining. It is designed to be of interest to the amateur sailor, to the inland waterway enthusiast and to any casual and curious reader. We all hope for that, so you must be the judge! If you want to know why these Bretton ladies (below) are mooning at the departing ferry, you will have to read the book...
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