A self-drive cruise along France’s Canal du Midi is one of the most relaxing holidays possible. The scenery eases seamlessly from green vineyards to sleepy villages, from friendly moorings to solitary sunsets on the water. Other boaties are friendly, waving and bonjouring welcomingly. With no deadlines and the freedom to dock whenever and wherever you want, the chill-out factor is high.
But, somehow, we managed to turn our easy five-day 50-kilometre trip from Argens Minervois to Beziers and back into a testing obstacle course game show – Wipeout: the boat edition.