Travel theme: Height

There are some fine sights along the River Lot in southern France but the Pont Valentre at Cahors is one of the highlights. Six arches bridge the river topped by three gothic towers; under the arch furthest from the town is the lock which enables navigation down this canalised river. The height of the bridge and towers in this photograph graph is accentuated by the position of the camera – inside the part empty lock. On this June day, the damp walls of the lock indicate that the river levels above Pont Valentre are relatively low:

Le Pont Valentre

Unlike most of the French waterways, the locks on this river are unmanned and thus left to the devices of individual boaters; this would be no bad thing if they didn’t suffer the fate of most French plumbing – over-engineered and under-reliable 🙂 :The lock at Le Pont ValentreThe River Lot rises in the Auvergne which is excuse enough to include this: Lesley Garrett – Songs Of The Auvergne – La Delaissado:


  1. Renard Moreau · October 6, 2013

    [ Smiles ] Nice choice of tall structures!

    • northumbrianlight · October 6, 2013

      Many thanks, much appreciated.

      • Renard Moreau · October 6, 2013

        [ Smiles ] You are welcome!

  2. kirkistan · October 6, 2013

    Nice photo & nice jibe: “over-engineered and under-reliable”

    • northumbrianlight · October 7, 2013

      🙂 There is a practical issue – in an emergency it is impossible to drop the lock paddles quickly. The gates and paddles on English narrow canals are much simpler and more reliable.

  3. Graham Stephen · October 7, 2013

    nice angle!

    • northumbrianlight · October 7, 2013

      Thanks Graham – it was a grabbed shot – I was supposed to be controlling the boat at the time 🙂

  4. greenmackenzie · October 7, 2013

    Very interesting ‘height’ topic. Were you cruising along the river using the unreliable locks?

    • northumbrianlight · October 7, 2013

      We were – temperatures were very high and the crew (Pam) was struggling with the gates and the crazily complicated paddles. The captain (me) was at the helm in the lock issuing instructions – the temperature rose some more :-). All worth it though – the Lot is a beautiful river.

  5. LaVagabonde · October 7, 2013

    Hahaha. Got the jibe. 😉

    • northumbrianlight · October 7, 2013

      I first experienced Gallic plumbing expertise whilst staying in Brittany Gites – their waterways merely confirmed my suspicions 🙂

  6. joshi daniel · October 8, 2013

    looks great 🙂

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