vendredi 24 mai 2013

Friday 24.05.13

Well we have reached the Pouilly end of the Burgundy tunnel, travelling through some wonderful countryside if only it would stop raining!!

 Our moorings at the port of Ravieres, with good company from two other barges, Meander and Tesserae.

 We went for a good exploration of Ravieres, we thought we knew it well but we were amazed to find this ancient castle, now in ruins, up one of the back streets.

 This house reminded us of our beloved Auxerre!!
 John admiring another World War One memorial.
Relaxing in a rare period of sunshine at Buffon.

Our idyllic moorings just before Lock No 60 'Benoisy' where we spent the night. We were having to travel through the locks with a bumper boat (holiday hire boat) and it was a tight squeeze so we opted to spend the night here so that we would be alone in the locks again! when we locked through the next day the young lockkeeper gave us a fine bottle of wine, which was a surprise! I think it was because John gave him a tin of strong lager the night before!
We moved on to Montbard where we spent two nights (one of which we got charged for?!?!) but it rained consistently so there are not any pictures!

We then travelled on to Venerey for two nights where we rough moored alongside a Boat Hire Base which we were amused to see was being guarded by a goose in a kennel!

Our space in Venerey.  We charged up our anatomical batteries and set off on Monday morning (20th) to commence the dreaded staircase of locks up to the tunnel.  We have never seen such rain, and whilst John was tucked up nice and dry in the wheelhouse I was out in the pouring rain to do the ropes for the locks.....!!! We spent that night at 'Marigny-le-Cahouet' having done 30 locks in the day, and three changes of dry clothes for me, I was soaked to the skin literally!!!

The next day was wet again, but after 14 locks we decided we would stay at St Thibault which advertised a 'Halte Nautique'. When we got there it consisted of a sign with the name and nothing else, we couldn't even moor there as it was too shallow so we perched the other side of the canal. It was certainly a peaceful and very dark night!

The next day (22nd) we finished the staircase of locks and after another 12 locks found ourselves at Pouilly-en-Auxois, where we will have stayed 3 nights. It was really needed after all those locks, to ease my aching arms!
Patrice has discovered the joy of climbing trees but isn't so good at getting down again, so John to the rescue....!!
So tomorrow we enter the 3 Kilometre tunnel to commence our descent towards our destination, Dijon for the Dutch Barge Association rally, although quite a few boats wont be getting there as the rivers are still in full flood, the Yonne is closed again and there is a huge hole at Montceau les Mines in the Canal de Centre which has stopped other barges getting through.
However the humans might be getting stressed but Patrice is perfectly content and relaxed.......

samedi 11 mai 2013

11.05.13 Saturday

Well we are at Ancy-le Franc but moving on today towards Dijon. We stayed our first night from Tanlay at Argentenay. My goodness that village has really suffered from the flooded River Armancon...

The river had flooded the town with the tide mark about four feet up the walls and has made a terrible mess of the roads. The bridge rtoad tarmac was completely destroyed as you can see from the pictures with the river barely going under the bridge! A bit scarey to say the least!
We moved on the next day to Ancy le Franc where we have stayed two nights. Yesterday we explored the village the other side of the bridge. It must have been a beautiful village once but is now very tumbledown without even a Boulangerie in evidence.

 This was once a lovely Inn but it was quite eerie to see the door all overgrown with weeds like something out of a fairy tale!
 Evidence of lovely old writing that had been painted on the walls.
 The World War One memorial, even a tiny village like this lost 14 men during this conflict!
 Beautiful scenery the other side of the village, it was a silent as it was pretty!

The canal waters are so high that this lock had the canal bursting over the lock gates... before they opened the sluices to let us lock up, quite scarey from the front of the boat!

Well that's all our news for now, more in a couple of days......

mardi 7 mai 2013

Tuesday 07.05.03

Well here we are at Tanlay where we have been for the last 12 days. The good people here supply electricity and water so we had intended staying 3 or 4 nights to restore our batteries and to do some more painting... but it rained and rained resulting in the Burgundy canal being closed for the first time since 1956!! Trust us to be on it when it did!!

We have made good use of the time though, John has managed to paint one side of the boat and to do some running repairs which were needed. Our time here hasn't been without adventure though!

One of Patrice's favourite places to visit is the orchard just the other side of the bridge where we are moored, but last week when we went there it was to see that a great deal was now under water. It was a lovely evening and it was heavenly to see the trees sporting wonderful blossom.

Patrice has always enjoyed climbing trees and this was no exception.

The grass could do with being mown but thankfully none of us gets hayfever!
Patrice is finally a man with his catching of small rodents.......

On sunday morning we were woken by the sound of hammering and got up to find that the car park had been transformed into a small exhibition. It was to celebrate the month of 'Europe' which is apparently May, and they were having a cycle ride and walk from the Quai around the countryside. We declined to join in but not until they had given us each a T-shirt...

 We had already decided to go to a ';Vide grenier' in a small village up in the hills above us so we set off on our cycles. This field of 'Oil Seed Rape' was just stunning, and I think it is worthy of a painting!

However when we got up the hill we could see the extent of the flooding in the fields below us.

 The high street of St Martin where the table sale was, the cars were all due to the sale I expect it doesn't see cars here very often!

Patrice had his 2nd Birthday on the first of May, but he isn't too old to appreciate a new teddy bear!!

 We had some new French friends round for 'apperitif'', we had a lovely time and no doubt will see them again when we return to this village.

We were running out of supplies but our lovely friends from Auxerre arrived yesterday to see us . We had lunch out with them and then they took us back to Tonnere in their car and we restocked the pantry and the wine and beer cellar! thank you so much Simon, Charlyn and Daisy for preventing us from starving......

The hotel boat behind us has just been allowed to go up the canal and we have been told that we can leave tomorrow. This is a lovely village but we will be glad to move on!
A beautiful sunset which we saw the other night