Barging from Loire to Burgundy
The journey begins – here.
Friday 22nd June 2018
Vanneaux to Diou
While I was tossing out our rubbish and recycling I got chatting to some people on a hire boat. They said they found France difficult and preferred their boating holiday in the UK. We forget how much we’ve gotten used to France and French people. I guess our earlier impressions were similar. The French run on a different time to the rest of the world. And that’s how it is. Thing is, once you get used to it. It’s actually really nice. Kind of makes sense. We now look forward to lunch time. We know to try and speak French first. Are French people difficult? Not in our experience. They’re a proud nation and not trying to emulate any other culture. When in France? Do as the French do. And you’ll be more than fine.
We hoped to make Coulanges but that was a bit ambitious so settled for Diou. If we’d gotten going earlier it might have worked but both of us are partial to a bit of a morning lie in. It was so nice to encounter a few lockies from our previous trip. We were getting bolder and helping them open the lock gates. Anyone living in this part of the world has to be grateful that they live in a safe, beautiful and tranquil area. We were both super relaxed apart from bouts of sneezing and scratching our eyes out due to allergies. My main allergen is cut grass and they perpetually cut grass all along the canal. My other half is jinxed by pollen and the tree lined canals in spring with a gentle wind set him off good and proper.
We wanted to tie up outside an artsinal brewery call La Saint but feared we might be too close to the cycle route. So moved on to just past the bridge. Mistake. The banks and supports had collapsed and there was no way that would work. Next bright idea was to tie up on the opposite bank. Which sort of worked. But there wasn’t a tow path so we beat a new one through stinging nettles and waist high grass to the brewery. We arrived covered in all sorts of growth and bits of nature.
The brewery was closed. It had a Ferme (closed) board outside. But a friendly chap told us to go in anyway. So we did. Another equally friendly lady was helping a customer. We bought a mixed 6-pack of their beers. It was her birthday and she was trying to prepare food for what we must assume was a party and get us out the door as quickly as possibly – but politely.
Back at the boat we did a 30 minute HIIT session with a mobile phone app, showered and immediately tried the new beers. The fuse for our generator blew so that was yet another thing to buy next time we were near a bricolage (hardware shop).
The journey continues . . . . . . here.