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This part of the bicycle route is paved up to Port Lauragais, where the bike path changes to dirt track once you pass underneath the railroad track.
Km 51.2 After having cycled past Port Lauragais, crossed underneath the highway and railroad track start to prepare to cross the Canal Du Midi again. You will cross at the first available lock, called Ecluse de l’Ocean.
Ecluse d'Encassan, 1673, double lock. Km 45.893 Height 4.85 m. Originally this lock was designed as a single lock. But when the canal was filled with water for the first time, it became clear that a second lock had to be added.
Port Lauragais. Port located on opposite side of the towpath. Difficult to reach. Cross bridge over Canal Du Midi at road D80A and follow signs to Port Lauragais. Go back the same way to the Canal Du Midi after having visited the port. Make sure to NOT join the A61 highway. This is really a modern highway rest stop with a gas station, restaurant, sandwich shop, hotel, and souvenir shop. Not recommended unless you are starving for food!
Baraigne Aqueduct, 1689.
Ecluse de l’Ocean (also called Ecluse de Naurouze or Ecluse de Montferrand), 1673, single lock. Km 51.61 Height 2.62 m. This lock's name comes from the fact that it faces the Atlantic Ocean. The next lock is called Ecluse de la Mediterranee because it faces the Mediterranean Sea. Change sides of the canal here with your bike.
Seuil de Naurouze, Km 51.8. The highest point on the Canal Du Midi. It is 190.61 meters above sea level. This is the location of the continental divide of France. This means that rain falling to the west of this point flows to the Atlantic Ocean while rain falling to the east will flow to the Mediterranean Sea. Similarly, the water in the Canal Du Midi flows from here to Toulouse and from here to Agde. The large obelisk located here was paid for by family of Paul Riquet and dates from 1827. Vauban build a new canal along the southwest side of the Naurouze lake because the lake would fill up with debris from the rigole too much. The rigole is a man-made stream coming from Lac St Ferreol in the Black Mountains. This Lac St Ferreol (lake) supplies all the water for the Canal Du Midi and was build by Paul Riquet.
Avignonet Lauragais has 4 night markets every summer. These dates vary. Usually the last two wednesdays of July and the first two wednesdays of August. But some years it might be the last 3 wednesdays of July and only the first wednesday of August. Hours are from 7PM to midnight. Music, food, activities for kids.
Night market in Avignonet Lauragais.
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