vendredi 20 juin 2014

Hottest day of the year.

We left our quiet little mooring and continued up the Nivernais. We stopped at Tannay for a provision stockup and set off gaily in the sunshine for a two kilometre cycle ride to the supermarket. To our horror it was all uphill, and a very steep hill at that! John's electric bike has broken, so he took his push bike. I had my electric bike but I was pulling the trolley for the shopping so it was quite an effort!
This is a typical scene, of which there are many, on the Nivernais Canal.This was taken just outside Tannay.

We spent the weekend moored here,this was our view from the top of our boat. Just miles of nothing, sheer bliss!

A very cute little traditional boat

On the hottest day of the year so far (34degrees) we went for a walk with Patrice into the Morvan Forest. it was really cool in there!

A dragonfly drying out his wings.

We moved on after the weekend and spent five nights at Chitry les mines waiting for a toilet filter to be sent from UK. We paid £20 for next day courier delivery but as you can see that didnt happen! We eventually left and went to the Locaboat depot at Corbigny, where we stopped for water. We had filled up and I went to pay when we decided we would moor here for the night, it was 4.30pm and we were quite tired. We had sat there for about 10 minutes when there was an enormous bang, an articulated lorry had hit the next bridge and knocked massive stones into the lock and onto the lock gates. If we HAD moved on we would have been going into the lock when this happened..... someone was definitely looking after us!!

 Taken from the bridge you can see one block on the lock gate, the demolished part of the bridge and out of sight another block was in the lock!

 This was taken at the lock side.
Obviously they had had trouble like this before so made a miniature 'Avebury' of it!!

This was the next day when they called out 'Les Plongeurs' the diver section of the Pompiers. If you look carefully you can see a half naked fireman to the right of the red van!!!
Well we moved on after two nights there, they got the blocks out of the way and re-opened the waterway. They were much quicker than their projected 3-4 days!!The locaboat depot only charged us one night as they said it wasn't our fault we were stuck there. John has been working on our figurehead (picture below) It has made such a difference to the boat, people stop us and say how beautiful she is!! The figurehead has only one boob for obvious reasons...!!!!

 As we left the boat depot we spied this metal plaque on the wall to commemorate our friend Jo Parfitt who died of leukaemia last year. He launched the Puddle Stone for us and was the instigator of much improvement work done on the Nivernais.
Peaceful mooring just before the start of the Sardy flight.

 Strange sculptures at lock 16 where we had a cup of tea in the garden.
This was our mooring half way up the flight, Patrice caught loads of mice!
A photo of the outside of Lock 6 which is a cafe run by an ageing hippie.

Our pot of tea for two...not quite what we expected but it was delicious!

 Finally we were at the top, this shows us the green light to say we can go through the three tunnels in front.
I thought this looked like something out of sleeping beauty, the views were breathtaking!

1st tunnel

2nd tunnel

Exiting the 3rd tunnel

At the top, we arrived at Baye. A windswept, unappetising, deserted Quai, alonside an Etang (a lake) the other side of the wall. We decided not to stay and moved on to Bazolles.

We had a warm drink of beer here..... I dont think they had a fridge! They sold sweets, fishing tackle (including live maggots) and sewing equipment all piled on a table together in a big jumble of stuff!

The gift shop (closed) which had many delights including a huge pottery pig in a swimming ring....for 6 euros!! we resisted the impulse to buy!!

3 hay bales piled on top of each other and then painted...this was a very strange village!

We moved on again and found ourselves at Mont et Marre, where Patrice encountered his first chicken....

The small town 'lavoir' filled by an ice-cold stream

Patrice loved the ice cold water

Eggs bought at the smallholding alongside the lock, we had them for our tea....delicious!!

We set off again yesterday afternoon and finally ended up here at Chatillon-en-Bazois. We had expected a decent sized town with perhaps a Lydl, but no...never mind we are staying for the weekend now.

The town walls with a lovely tower signalled that we had reached civilisation. We can now get a phone signal and internet, but sadly the aerial doesnt want to give us TV too!!

dimanche 8 juin 2014

Clamecy - Cuncy- Villiers sur Yonne

We arrived at Clamecy on 30.05.14, having the Quai to ourselves so John expertly reversed into a place where we could exit from with some eloquence.
Our first encountered swing bridge, this year.

Puddle Stone gracefully gliding underneath it.

A chateau by the side of the Nivernais.
For some reason this wont go the right way up, but having risen from the Yonne river to The Canal at Clamecy we were confronted by a low metal bridge which the lockeeper had to push open for us! We stayed at Clamecy for 3 nights but we were only charged for one night as they didnt arrive for payment after the first two! Our main reason for staying so long, apart from necessary food shopping, was a giant 'Brocante' which was held on the sunday. There were loads and loads of stalls but this is what we purchased:-
A giant red fruit pie, which sadly ,despite looking delicious, is in fact PLASTIC!

3 delightful glass sweeties...non fattening!

A metal statue of my favourite Napoleon.

The next day, Monday we moved and moored at a place called Cuncy (John wanted to stay there because he thought the name was funny!!) We stayed 3 nights by which time we discovered that we were not at Cuncy but at Villiers sur Yonne where there were electricity points for the boats but they were all broken.
I like to help with the lockgates and I'm looking cheerful here...

but the reality is that they don't grease their mechanisms and turning this handle was real backbreaking work!

A mummy duck with two ducklings locked through with us!

Thank goodness this swing bridge was open for us.

 Our moorings at Villiers sur Yonne

A beautiful little cottage.

Thank goodness for washing machines, wouldn't like to have done our smalls in this!!

The weather was very bad we had decided to leave so we stayed put, and HJohn spent the time making a figurehead for the bows.

Cravant - Mailly la Ville - Mailly le Chateau - Chatel-Censoir - Coulanges

Internet connection has been appalling so I'm having to do a major catchup this weekend so that we are up to date again. We left Cravant on the hottest day of the year so far (25degrees) having explored it thoroughly first we moved to Mailly-la-Ville.

John thought this might be a good place to buy?!!! Sad to see that they have just allowed this place to fall down in Cravant.

Lovely town gate to Cravant

We had a drink in the little bar opposite this exquisite fountain.

Some of the buildings there look like the ones in Auxerre.

The high street...not much happening although we saw a traffic jam here a few moments later....!!!!
we moved on to Mailly -la-Ville where I caught up on the washing and ironing, staying two nights and then moved to Mailly-le-Chateau. A lovely sleepy grass inlet in the middle of forest but to our delight they had installed more free water and electricity here so we spent a week there. We were joined intermittently by many boats some of which we had met before.

Our lovely wild mooring

 Our friends Chris and Betsy on 'Maggie May'
The two men in my life , fast asleep following a tough evening discussing politics and playing boules.....

The weather threw some wild stuff at us, this thunder and lightening storm blew many things off the top of the boat!

This was a pilgrimage to Vezelay which consisted of hundreds of people walking past us in groups each bearing a cross....

The ton of Mailly le Chateau most of which is perched at the top of the hill, a very long steep walk!

A beautiful sunset after the storm.
 The rocks at 'Le Saussois'
We were overtaken (on the inside!!) by two holiday boats who had spent a very noisy night alongside us..

Patrice playing with a mouse (its playing 'dead' and got away!!!)

Patrice and John driving the boat.

a weird boat which we nicknamed 'Bunkbed' for obvious reasons!!

All things must pass so we moved on again and moored at Chatel -Censoir. We stayed 3nights but were rather put off by the mayor calling on the boat the first night at 9.30pm to ask us how long we would be there!! Not very welcoming! Supplies had become rather dire so we moved to Coulanges which had a supermarket of sorts and we managed to get the essentials. it was cold and wet here and we only stayed a night.