Saturday, 24 August 2013

Up the Saone

Aug 13

The River Saone was a relief after the Rhone - a much slower current and the ecluses were much more relaxed - all on the 'green' again which was good as they use telephones for contact rather than VHF. We left Lyon on a Sunday and no boat movement the whole day other than us. A bit of confusion at the Isle de Barbe as the signs at the junction were overgrown by bushes (a common problem) but the helmsman shouted at the navigator (a common procedure) - coin tossed and onwards.

Isle de Barbe
Isle de Barbe Chateau residuals
Come the Revolution we get this as a holiday cottage
We were determined to have short days after the Rhone so stopped at Trevoux - a lovely hill village always immaculately clean (the only problem is the boulangerie is on top of the hill). Peter had to buy both croissants and Chaussons aux pomme as a restorative.

Angie was on her 'stepper' most of the way - must be the only helmsperson to have 'walked' up the Rhone/Saone - some of the boat crew we passed looked worried.

Luckily it is not contagious
After a night in Belleville we moored in Macon - the waterfront is a bit bleak and it is not our favourite town. Most of the moorings en route were near empty - not sure what has happened to the plaisanciers - the hotel boats weren't that full either.

Macon old cathedral towers
Macon .'new' cathedral
'Should we speed up?'
We were meeting a lot of water skiers - some with a death wish as they crossed our bows.

Kes just let it all happen around him.

'Call me for Dinner'
We had never been to Tournus so found a mooring on a wall and did some exploring..  Nice town centred on the old Abbey, but no food shops worthy of the name in walking distance so just one night.

Tournus Abbey church
We had seen a few storks but were always too slow with the camera so a nest will have to suffice.

Mare (unamused) and foal
We thought of stopping at Gigny old ecluse, where we sheltered from a Mistrale on the way south, but it looked full so pushed on towards Chalons sur Saone.

Gigny old ecluse
We were making good progress and as Chalons has never been welcoming to plaisanciers over 15m we continued on to the Canal du Centre,

Entrance to Chalons marina
Chalons Commercial - new ladders and bollards and lots of yellow paint
We finally turned off the River into the Canal du Centre and at the first ecluse got held up (for three cycles) by a small hotel boat and a couple of hire boats - but nice to get back to canal boating.

Entrance to the Canal du Centre
In the 14 days from leaving the south at St Gilles we had only had two days of bad weather but the temperature has dropped 5 degC so Angie is into fleeces on the early dog walks - next it will be a duvet on the bed - followed by thermal underwear!!.

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