The journey begins . . . here.
Monday 2nd July 2018
Fragnes to Chalon-sur-Saone
None of us rushed to get going. It was another scorcher day to look forward to. Yes, we should have tried to avoid the midday heat, but waking up hot is already exhausting. All of us had burnt red faces, arms and legs. I had watch strap, shoulder strap, shorts and shoe tan/burn lines. It’s just too hot to cover up and sunscreen slides straight off as a person perspires so much.
We explored Fragnes in under an hour. It’s small. There’s lovely brand new bar come cafe. An excellent boulangerie. A hairdresser. Not bad toilets for cyclists and even a bicycle wash. Between Fragnes and Chalon-sur-Saone there’s only one lock and it’s a very deep 10 metre lock with floating bollards. Somehow those deep locks are always impressive. They give a sense of how much you drop or climb.
Chalon-sur-Saone is an excellent marina and we’ve learnt it’s best to arrive late morning. They don’t take bookings. Any boats that might leave – have gone by midday – creating mooring space. But from late morning to early afternoon it fills up fast. We’ve seen boats arrive only to be turned away. As usual there was someone on the quay to show us where to tie up. Oh, and and they help you tie up. Nice!
We got going immediately and went over the bridge to the Tourism Office which closes from 12.30pm – 14.00pm. My friend wanted to find the best way back to Paris the following day. Since the Tourism Office wasn’t open we figured next best was to head to the train station. We had a lovely lunch at one of those cafe type places. My friend had the plat du jour and we had a garden salad each.
Tuesday 3rd July 2018
So nice to wake up and not be on the move. Even better, in one of our favourite places – Chalon-sur-Saone. My friend was going back to work in two days so we let her sleep in. My husband made us an melon, Rooibos tea, ginger and plant protein smoothie for brekka. She packed up slowly and we ambled over the bridge to have a coffee at our favourite place – Cote Saone. Then moseyed up past all the shops toward the train station. Massive sales everywhere – like 60% off! I need blinkers like a horse to avoid seeing bargains. My friend succumbed and bought a few things. I helped her choose.
She had booked a place on Flixbus for €15 to Paris Bercy. Never heard of it. The bus arrived on time, looked pretty comfortable and was air-conditioned. Note to self to look at that for our upcoming few days in Paris with my brother. By the time she left it was 13.30pm and I was ravenous. As usual, most places offer the same old things – Croque Monsieur type sandwiches, pastries, frites, ham, cheese or egg salads. But we perservered and found a spot next to a park that had a quinoa salad and a vegan burger. We sat under some trees and decided to have wine in the middle of the day. It was yet another hot day. What the hell.
The food wasn’t bad, a bit under seasoned and not much protein (the burger was a potato rosti) but at least they tried to put something plant-based on the menu. I popped into Monoprix for a few food items and extra T-shirts for my better half who was going through them fast in the heat. Normally I have to fight to get him to agree to new clothes but he was very happy to have extra tops.
We got back to the boat just as it started to rain. Not much we could do in the rain and after a boozy lunch – a siesta seemed like a good idea. It stormed and rained for a good few hours. The rain cooled the ambient temperature instantly. By early evening it was even a bit nippy. Wonderful not to be hot for a change. Our boat was quiet after someone with us for the last 5 days. A bit of an anti climax. We wrote up our blogs, checked and sized photos and I got onto the Internet to clear out our mailboxes, check the weather and catch up on news, only to find my mother was in hospital. Nothing like bad news to put a damper on things.
The journey continues . . . . . .