Friday, 1 October 2010

Montbeliard to Montceau

Sep 10

It was all a bit uphill from Montbeliard as we were backtracking, which we hate, to Montceau .  Angela was a bit nervous ref river levels but the Doubs had turned into a pussycat - well almost.

There is an ecluse there somewhere
We took a photo of the 'bent' ecluse we had passed through going upstream

Ecluse with a curve
We had to overnight at most of the moorings we had used on the outward journey, but we skipped Besancon as there were no moorings available at Port Tarragnoz and we motored on to our greenfield site at  Routelle.

Entrance to Citadel tunnel - Besancon
This time through we managed to get a mooring at Dole near 'Avontuur' and 'Hendrika' - very windy so a bit of 'to and fro' through the crew's gritted teeth when mooring (if only females were as 'even tempered' as men :).

Heading south on the Saone early one morning - the mist thickened to a real pea souper - we tried for a mooring at  Gergy but overshot it so had to carry on.  We crept on with Peter in the bows looking for channel buoys, oncoming traffic and bridges - in a clear spot we found we were leading a convoy of 4 or 5 smaller boats!  Eventually the mist cleared enough to spot the entrance to the Canal du Centre and we pushed on to Fragnes.

 Chapel (partial) - Fragnes
This time through we stopped at Santenay, a small mooring with a track to the village which has about 15 wine caves. However, after seeing the prices of good Burgundy we decided a bulk buy was not a good idea - onwards to our farm shop in Blanzy where we could at least get some Merlot.  A lot of the time we were following a commercial that was having problems with water depth and therefore managing the bends so it was painfully slow progress.

Daughter (Nikki) sent us a photo of her practising her 'rescue the parents' skills.

Need a tow?
By this time we were ready for a long halt, so it was pleasant to get back to our winter mooring at Montceau on 1 Oct 10.  We were the first in, just as well as there were three potential contenders for two T berth slots.  Terry and Teresa Barrett on 'Renaissance' arrived a few days later and Sue on 'Kellis' (a narrowboat) some time after that.  By that time we had found all the supermarkets and boulangeries, a source of the Sunday Times and a Bar to drink in when the sun was shining.  It took Angela a few weeks to explore all the dog walks as Montceau has two large parks (dotted with lakes) which have been developed on the site of the old mine workings.

A quick check on Navigo and we found we had done circa 2,300 kms since 1 Apr - if we get bored during the Winter we must add up the locks!

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