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The locks on he Du Midi are nor problem as described. However if you go off the Du Midi onto the Garrone you have to operate the locks yourself b turning a pole in the middle of the River before you arrive at the lock. The instructions are clear, there are signal lights on the Lock, you turn the pole once and wait for the lights to change and the lock to open. This doesn’t always happen immediately for various reasons but mainly because the lock is being used in the other direction. If you ignore the instructions and turn the pole again the lock mechanism cuts out and you have to ring for an engineer to reset the system. This can take anywhere between 5 mins and an hour.
The French locks can be fierce. Some have a big rise and fall, and were built to handle much bigger and heavier boats than they do today. If you are going up, then take every opportunity to bring in slack rope. If you are going down then watch the rope on the lockside wall - if it snags, then rush to free the snag.
There is no real drama... so long as you pay attention to the ropes.
Fonserannes is easier now than it was... the tourists are kept at bay by a fence. If the water slope ever runs again, I'll be among the first to take the ride.