Barging from Loire to Burgundy

The journey begins – here.

Relaxing with a drink next to the River Loire
Relaxing with a drink next to the River Loire

Tuesday 19th June 2018
Decize
The day started with more conversation about the boat between the potential buyer, my husband and the Dutch boat agent. More history and details were passed on. It was a bright sunny day and my better half wanted to finish his painting job. I had more than enough Internet related work to do. But first we wanted to explore the organic market. Except, it’s no longer on the 3rd Tuesday of the month anymore. We were bitterly disappointed.

If I could give the people managing the French waterways or French Tourism one tip – it would be this – make all the locks and immediate areas on either side of them WiFi Hot Spots. And start loading the waterways guides on-line. Link the maps to a mobile phone app and charge people to download the app. That way everyone always has access to the latest maps and information. The cost of the app would be covered by people subscribing to it. Emergency info like bad weather could be send immediately. In fact a daily weather report would be most welcome. Even non-essential information would be helpful, like if a marina becomes full. A person can then opt to stop earlier, or move on to another stopping place. Boaters can also pass on information such as a tree falling across the canal or someone having an accident. Gosh even a translate function within the app would help us when we have to report locks that won’t open. It’s such a challenge when there’s a language barrier.

Lock from the marina to the Loire
Lock from the marina to the Loire

The app could also allow local markets, bars, laundromats, restaurants, festivals, whatever, to advertise there for a fee. We passed all sorts of amazing places like an artisan brewery come pub, a wine cellar, even a vegan hotel – and had no idea. We got our best tips from other boaters, so maybe even allow a chat room or forum similar to the DBA or Dutch Barge Association. How nice would it be if bird watchers shared a sighting or people from various countries or with similar interests can find each other? The possibilities are endless. But the biggest difference this would make is it would attract younger people to the waterways. Youngsters share prolifically on social media and inadvertently promote a place or event. Why not enable them to do it. It’s free advertising. The waterways would be a better place with a bit more diversity in my view. Instagram had just over 100 #barginginfrance posts a few months back. I suspect 20% of them are mine. What a travesty that such a beautiful part of the world is not being shared and seen. (One more tip coming up on Wednesday 27th June)

Fort in the Old City
Fort in the Old City

After a busy day for both of us, we went up to the old town with a walking map and wandered about. Then settled at a bar on the banks of the Loire and had a drink. Would have loved to try one of their crepes but everything had either ham, bacon, eggs or cheese. There wan’t a single plant-based option so didn’t even try ordering. Back at the boat we had lovely Provencal galettes, carrot salad and a green salad on the back deck. With a Bordeaux wine of course. An elderly couple behind us must have left their ear phones out as they had Calypso style music blaring from their boat. The pair of them were having a fabulous time dancing in their seats and clicking their fingers.

The journey continues  . . . . . . 

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