Barging in Burgundy
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Day Sixteen – 13th July 2017
Louhans to Cuisery
It’s always nice when you know where you’re going. It helps to plan to tie up better, the wi-fi code is already in your phone and you know if you want to eat on board or eat out. We made our way back along the Seille for another night in Cuisery. The trees almost lean over and touch the boat. Various birds either sit motionlessly on the side of the canal or swoop on ahead. Behind the trees are farms with big rolls of hay and cows meandering. I even saw Chateaux (castle) Loisy up on the hill. The locks on the Seille are all manual. You wind and open the gates and paddles yourself. Which I think is easier than the remote-control locks. Less to go wrong. But then the locks aren’t particularly deep.
The mooring spaces for visitors, should in theory, be for visitors. But we saw some really forlorn looking boats for sale occupying public moorings. And worse, some of them tie up side-ways taking up extra space. In high season mooring space is at a premium, so not sure how they get overlooked. Back in Cuisery we saw three hire boats in a row with South African flags. We’ve seen lots of Brits, Germans, Swiss, the odd Scandinavian and people from down under. Even learnt to tell the difference between a New Zealand and an Australian flag. New Zeland flags have red stars and Australian flags have white stars. A few other minor differences, but that’s what I remembered. But it’s always a treat to encounter fellow Saffas on the waterways of France.
Day Seventeen – 14th July 2017
Cuisery to Tournus
Fortunately the locks on the River Seille are manual as it turned out this day was Bastille Day. We kind of noticed loads of people out and about during a work day. There was a bit of a festive feeling to the day. That evening we were bombarded with crackers and various sounds like gunfire. It felt like we were in the middle of a war zone. Thank God we don’t suffer from PTSD or are animals. The stress off all the fireworks would have sent us clean over the edge. I would have been OK with a controlled Bastille Day thing. But some unsupervised kids were letting off a huge stash of crackers on the jetty right next to the boats.
The next day my other half noticed oil underneath the engine. I hate when he picks up something. I fear big fat bills. But am ever grateful he knows what to look for. En route he had his overalls on and was down in the bowels of the boat peering with his mirror at the engine. He seemed to think there was a leaking tappit cover gasket. Whatever that means. It would have to wait until we finished up in Roanne and put Shangri away until the following year.
We thought we had followed the Waterways Guide and tied up in the right spot, but an anxious looking French bloke came knocking on our boat muttering for us to move. He had three hire boats coming in and needed space for them to park. Since there was nowhere for us to go, he relented and said we could perch right at the end of the jetty. Not long after a Dutch boat made the same mistake and were also chased away. They tied up to our boat and double-banked. I remembered how the Dutch double, triple and even quadruple bank their boats. First time I had seen it in France.
I love trying to veganise French food. Supper was crêpes filled with leeks and green cabbage, sautéed in garlic and vegan butter. And that divine grated carrot salad (carottes râpées) you buy at the supermarkets. Can’t get enough of it.
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