Read from the start – here.
Near the bricolage was a huge bio (organic) food store that we absolutely had to visit. Neither of us could resist buying vegan frankfurters, veggie burgers and almond cream cheeze. We offloaded our goods back at the boat and decided to try the veggie restaurant after all. Who should be sitting there but my friend? I was more than a bit surprised given her earlier sentiments.
The food was good. Most of the veg friendly eateries we’ve been to in France tend to have a colourful array of salads with different dressings – finely grated carrot, red cabbge, celeriac, green leaves, butter beans, lentils – with a quiche or savoury tart. There was also a terrine and an onion and tomato bake with Provençal flavours. We had a pichet (pitcher) of wine to go with it. My other half and I were the only ones drinking wine in the entire restaurant. So much for the French cliché! But maybe lunch time on a week day had something to do with it.
The three of us walked back to the boat to escape the rain and read, rest or relax. I had a snooze. A huge plate of food and wine midday does that to a person. My friend decided to pack up early and head for her next Warm Showers host early. We never got to say goodbye.
Tariff per night at Chalon sur Saône is €13. Water is included. Electricty is a flat €3. However the next morning when my husband went for a shower, he discovered the facilities at Chalon sur Saône close on weekends. Would have been nice to know that in advance. At least spared us from trying to use them. And the wi-fi never worked. Although it’s hardly a lot of money – you are paying for facilities that you don’t actually get.
What to do next year is the big question for us? The South African couple we met liked Lyon, so we decided to catch a train down there and see the city for ourselves. We also wanted to get an idea what the marina looked like. Trains come and go from Chalon sur Saône to Lyon around every hour to hour and a half. During normal travel hours. The train trip takes about an hour and twenty minutes.
I was struck by how green it was coming into Lyon. Not sure why I expected otherwise? Perhaps because Burgundy is less lush and we were heading toward the Mediterranean which is hot? Lyon is the 3rd biggest city in France. After Marseille and the capital Paris. By contrast it’s brighter, more spacious and dare I say this, cleaner than Paris. Lyon is also appreantly the gourmet capital of France. It was Saturday, market day, and we found a fabulous food market. I could go back just for that. There’s a narrow section between the Rhone and the Saône which we meandered through and is well worth exploring. We found a vegan supermarket. Un Monde Vegan. Who would have thought? Naturally we came out with a few items.
A bloke at Un Monde Vegan recommended an eatery called Toutes les Couleurs. How could we not go there? We had a three course meal each and a pichet (pitcher) of wine to share. Our meal came to €65. All their food is organic. And tasty. A mix of raw and macrobiotic food. Beautifully presented. A lot of emphasis on presentation. They cut their carrot slices into perfect little daisy shapes. Not a place to go if you’re in a hurry. Wish I knew how they make their salad dressing. It’s divine! Their meals consist of a lot of leafy greens. Only fault is I would have liked a little more food.
For a starter I had a smoked lentil paté and my husband had finely chopped veg crudites. Served with a home-made bread. Our mains were a warm veggie and salad plate and a raw veggie salad plate. For desert we had a baked apple type thing with a caramel sauce and a raw cheese made with three different kinds of peppers for flavour. And more home-made bread.
We walked to the marina from the restaurant, which is a good 5 kilometres. The marina is actually quite far from where the action is. It looks new and seems to offer a lot. If only it was open. We had hoped to chat to the capitain and make plans for next year. It’s not a big marina, maybe 15 boats moored there? Perhaps there’s not a lot of boating happening in Lyon? Which is surprising given our experiences in marinas in Amsterdam, Antwerp or Paris. All we can think is people travel north to south to the Mediterranean and Lyon is merely a stop-over? What a lovely city to miss. I would defintely love to explore Lyon. We logged 30 000 steps on our day in Lyon.
It was time to turn around and boat back along the Saone toward St-Jean-de-Losne. There was such thick mist in the morning we could not see more than 60 or 70 metres ahead. My other half was using his mobile phone maps app to see where our boat was on the river. He had to be really careful as fishermen were out in their boats on a Sunday morning. As were canoeists and other pleasure boat enthusiasts.
There had been flood warnings after a few days of heavy rain and we feared the rains may affect the river as we were motoring agaist the current. However we made good speed. By late morning the fog lifted and the sun came out. It turned into a beautiful day. The trees were just beginning to change to amber and copper colours as autumn drew in. Ducks flew down and skated on the water while swans glided past the river banks. White cattle languished lazily on the fields. It’s the sort of day that makes boating so pleasureable.
We entered a lock that we had done when we went down the river and I expected it to be as uneventful. How wrong was I? It’s an enormous lock. The bollards are so far apart we could only tie the middle rope to the quay. Water flowing in caused our poor boat to lurch violently about. The back bashed aganst the wall then the boat swung around and the front bashed against the wall. This kept happening and all we could do was try to push Shangri La from the wall each time she swung around.