Discovering the Lot by boat or on foot from Bouzies
Bouzies is located on the river Lot, near Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
The village is reached by one of those one-way suspension bridges that are so common around here.
This one is so narrow that I did a drive-by first in order to make sure it was actually a bridge for cars, not just pedestrians!
Due to its exceptional location, Bouzies is a busy place during the summer season.
Lot Navigation is indeed based there.
It offers river trips for sight-seeing tourists, as well as boats for rent.
It’s a great way to discover the many caves and steep cliffs that line the wooded banks of the Lot for the next 70km.
It will give you a better view of the Chateau des Anglais straight into the limestone cliff face.
It was initially built to house and protect villagers in case of attacks.
It was re-organized as a fortress during the Hundred Years War.
My goal, however, was not a boat trip, but a path…the chemin de halage.
Towpath at Bouzies
The chemin de halage or towpath was excavated through the cliffs along the Lot in 1847.
It allowed men and teams of animals to pull barges that transported goods and materials upriver.
These cliffs, which sit directly below Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, are sheer right down to the river’s surface.
A beautiful low-relief wall sculpture was added in 1985 as part of a rehabilitation project.
I had a nice stroll along the path that is named “Sur les traces d’André Breton” – In the footsteps of André Breton – who came to live in Saint-Cirq.
I met several other people…and dogs…enjoying the afternoon along the river despite the cool weather.
Today, only pleasure boats cruise the Lot.
In this photo that I took in 2009, you see one in the lock that will allow it to move upriver.
It’s still a lot of manual work, though.
The lock gates must be hand-cranked open and closed.
And boaters must scramble up and down these steep stone steps in order to tie up their watercraft.
Looks like a lot of work to me.
I would rather stroll!
More photos of Bouzies:
Coordinates for Bouzies: Lat 44.484787 – Long 1.643910