Sunday, 15 May 2011

Bourgogne - Lezinnes to Pouilly en Auxois

May 2011 - Canal du Bourgogne

The beautiful weather continues and we are dawdling along at a few hours a day to recharge batteries, though the new solar panels are doing well.  At Ancy Le Franc another glorious chateau relatively undamaged by La Revolution.

Ancy Le Franc
We shared the mooring with the hotel boat (Horizon2) which runs from Tanlay to Venarey les Laumes. Very friendly but no offers of a glass of Premier Cru - I am sure the passengers drink a better class of wine than our usual vin rouge.

Most of the moorings have free electricity/water - an excellent idea - but it is going to be a shock paying Canal du Midi prices in the Autumn. We now have a confirmed winter mooring at Carcassonne and we are being joined by Colin and Linda on 'Linda' whom we originally overwintered with at Kortrijk - they are missing Kes and we are hoping they will 'dogsit' for our daughter's wedding in December.

The Bougogne is very attractive and even quieter than the Nivernais. Our social life consists of chatting up cyclists and the eclusiers - no boats on the move other than a couple of hire boats - Nicols and LeBoat must be doing badly.

At Buffon we visited the Grande Forge (18thC iron forge) - a pleasant change from chateaux visits.  A huge blast furnace with water wheel driven iron hammers etc.  Peter stayed up late to follow the election results.

The 38m hotel boat caught up with us here - why is it always on a tight corner with a bridge?

Venarey les Laumes was the end of the hotel boats and also a Nicols hire base - so we squandered 12€ and stayed for 3 nights (rugby weekend, Chinese GP).  Angela slaved over the cleaning and cooking.

As can be seen above - we both now have Kindles which saves a fortune on book postage (and I get to read The Times in bed in the morning).  The weather continued fine - on the Monday we did 29 manual locks in 10 km on the hottest day of the year so far which got us to Marigny Le Cahouet.  Instead of staying 2 nights there to recover, we were asked to move on the next day by the eclusiers as they were short of staff (there is an eclusier strike rumbling in the background but it doesn't involve all of the eclusiers).  Then it was a gradual trundle on, in our first grey overcast weather, towards the top of the canal at Pouilly en Auxois.

The Pouilly bassin has a large supermarket nearby, so it was a case of a major shop and a jerrican refuelling as we don't anticipate anything much except Boulangeries between here and Dijon. Luckily the veg and herb garden are doing well so we can temporarily become vegan at a push.  From Pouilly it is straight into a long cutting then a 3.3 km tunnel under the town - being cautious we are going to drop the wheelhouse as there are no walkways in the tunnel and a good roof curve so any deviation from a centre line could be expensive.

Pouilly cutting

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