lundi 26 août 2013

26.08.13 Return to Dole for family visit!

We finally left Ranchot and waved goodbye to our new friends on "Picton", Hilary and Keith, and headed back to Dole. Excitement was in the air as my daughter and family were coming out for a visit!!  Picton is on its way to the South of France, to where we hope to travel next year so we are very interested in their progress!

It took us about 5 hours to return to Dole but we went very slowly as it was such a baking hot day. We were pleased to finally enter this beautiful avenue of trees as we knew that Dole was just around the corner!

We were able to moor back in the port, where we had been before and started to clean up the boat ready for the visit from Dominy, Ross, and the two girlies.... We were sitting eating our supper last Thursday night when this appeared over the trees.......
I don't think I have ever been so close to hot air balloons before, we could see the people very clearly.

 Very very slowly they drifted away into the sunset, but it was a really wonderful sight. Mind you I have always fancied a balloon flight until I saw the programme on the TV about the Egyptian holiday one which burst into flames and dropped to the ground...... now I'm not so sure!!

Eventually the boat was spick and span and our much anticipated visit was under way. It was lovely to have them all to stay and we had a superb meal out together, which was supposed to be my treat but Ross beat me to the payment of the bill.... I owe them a meal when we go over at Christmas......

The girlies ate their meal without any fuss thank goodness and we had clean plates all round, nothing was left at all! Patrice enjoyed having the girls here so it was a very successful visit which ended all too soon. John and I are on a diet, we are following the 5:2 diet but thankfully the meal occurred on one of our eating days!! John has lost nearly a stone and I have lost 10lbs so it IS working, today is a diet day though and we are both starving!!

We are now preparing to move off, stocking up with food and fuel, as we know that there are not many opportunities for either on the canal ahead. We are hoping to head towards Auxonne and see the Napoleon museum there before John's return to the UK for his Dad's 90th birthday in the middle of September.

I hope the weather improves soon, it has become a little overcast and today it has had the temerity to rain!! the forecast is quite good for the end of the week though.

And finally, a cutie of Patrice, who had made himself very comfortable on our bed!!!!

lundi 19 août 2013

19.08.13 Aveney to Besancon and back.....

Well, I have been unable to write the blog since our last entry as we have been out of internet contact for the past month. We have been able to connect for brief periods of time but not long enough to catch up on our news! We also found that our phone didn't work either, but it was kind of good to be out of contact totally for a while!

We explored the town Avanne which was  close to Aveney by bike and found this monolith showing the height of the water in periods of flooding over the last 100 years or so, it was quite a sobering thought!
 Avanne is nestled into the mountainside with houses in very unusual places.
We finally moved on towards Besancon, as our fresh water was getting low in our tank . The scenery became quite dramatic with deep valleys and wide stretches of The Doubs river.

 Our first view of Besancon, high above us the walled city came into view.
This is the tunnel entrance to Besancon, with a lock first. We were really looking forward to exploring the city. We moored at the Port de Plaissance but only stayed for two nights as it cost us nearly 20 euros per night, for what were really mediocre moorings. The crazies and yobbos came out at night and got drunk there every night sometimes until 4am so it wasn't very good there! We moved back to the other side of the tunnel where we found free moorings, without facilities, and stayed there for a week.
 We were amused to see this canoe with so many people on it.......
 but it all came to grief and capsized.......
 once they had got back on there was a lot of baling to be done before they could set off again!!
 Patrice remembered his summer transport arrangements and happily settled down each evening on the back of John's bike for his evening walk in the park.
 This is the park we took him too with the fortifications in the background which were floodlit every night.
 Some local entrepreneurs, practising their tight rope walking, this chap was very good.
We have done some yo-yo-ing between Aveney and Besancon for about three weeks but then we finally started our return journey to Dole where we are meeting up with Dominy and family.
Patrice is steering the boat from the front and licking his lips at the fishes and birds....!!

Im very proud of this photo of a Heron in flight, I even managed to catch the water dripping off his feet!
 We returned to the weir for another week where the weather was fab and we were the only boat for most of the time. This photo shows our idyllic mooring from above up on the old lock walls
 This one is down by the weir, the beach is to the left of the picture down the sloping wall.
 We discovered a load of fossils and beautiful mineral crystals inside some of the rocks on the beach.
 The colours were really something.! But all good things must end so we carried on, on our journey towards Dole and stayed at Oselles for a night.
 This is Oselles high street....!!! The church has the typical roof to be found in this part of France, they are really quite beautiful.
Our moorings in the wild at Oselles. We cycled in to their 'Plage' that evening as it was a Saint's day in France and they put on a wonderful firework display which cost us 1 euro each to get in! Money very well spent!
We are at present at Ranchot where we've spent the last four nights. The moorings are great and Ive managed to catch up with all the washing. We met a very nice couple on their barge 'Picton' and they kindly took us by car into St Vit for supplies today. So, now we are up to date with our happenings. The weather is still very very hot but we have had rain today. The thermometer on the outside of the wheelhouse registered 42 degrees yesterday!

As usual a cute picture of Patrice to finish....