The journey begins . . . here.
Sunday 1st July 2018
Chagny to Fragnes
Since we’d heard it was Market Day on Sundays in Chagny, we all trotted into town. The market in Chagny is well worth a visit. It’s big, and a mix of food, clothing, matresses, CD’s – you name it – you’ll find it. Then we had a nice cafe (coffee) and watched the world go by. These small towns can be deader than dead. A person wonders how they survive. Sunday market in Chagny was heaving with humans. Where did all these people come from? Next we stopped at the Tourism Office to ask the lady there if she would help us make sure a lockie would enable the locks so we could get going along the canal. It’s a Sunday in France after all. She phoned and explained to the person on duty at Canal du Centre. I know she understood as she’s lived in South Africa. All good. Or so we thought.
As we got going an Australian family on a hire boat joined us. We approached the first lock and all the lights were off. What more can a person do to get the locks to work that what we did? So I jumped off the boat and pushed the emergency button. No – it wasn’t an emergency – but it’s all there is to contact them. Zero response. I pushed longer. And even longer. Waste of time. After fifteen minutes we gave up and phoned. Again. Half an hour after calling – and hanging about in blistering 39’C heat, the lights finally came back on and we went straight into a chain of locks.
Halfway thorugh the chain of locks – the lights were out. Again. Yet another phone call to ask them to get the locks going. A chain of locks is supposed to be continuous. You’re supposed to keep going. How did no-one notice the locks weren’t working anymore? There is definitely room for improvement with the management of the locks on this stretch of the waterways.
We tied up in Fragnes after hearing it had been renovated. What a lovely spot. Luckily there were a few trees which cast a cooling shadow. People from tied-up boats were sitting on the banks of the canal in swimming costumes or minimal clothing trying not to overheat. My arms and legs were burnt red. Late afternoon a lovely young Madame Capitain came to collect money and explain the workings of Fragnes.
She spoke such perfect English, I thought she might have lived in an English speaking country – but no. Well done to her. I heard a New Zealand bloke next to us say the WiFi was rubbish to her and thought the worst, but I think either he or his phone or laptop was the problem as we found it to be excellent. Some things are improving on the waterways. Yay!
What I loved about Fragnes is that it is nowhere near a highway or a road which is often the case with marinas on the waterways. It’s dead quiet. All you hear is birds, trees rustling and the water lapping against the boat. It’s a quiet spot – but with electricity and water.
The journey continues . . . . . . on this link.