Monday, 16 September 2013

Old haunts

Sep 13

We were hassled all the way into Fragnes by a hire boat that wanted to overtake us on blind corners (woman driver) but with a little delicate weaving we got the last good mooring with electricity. To our surprise 'La Chouette'  was there (waiting for passengers) last seen in July on the Midi. The restaurant was closed for August - so pasta again!

The ecluses on the Med (east) end of the Canal du Centre are horrible if you are going east to west, with slimy rope initiators near the gates and you need to climb a ladder to activate them with any certainty.

Horrible ecluses

but beautiful ecluse gardens
We overnighted at the usual haunts - Chagny,  then on our favourite wall at St Berain where we were joined by a new 19m Piper (mixing with the rich folk again). But the boulangerie was shut for August.

More of our usual friends

All the fishermen react the same way
Not much boat traffic so Peter got a chance to helm - not that Angie was taking any chances!

St Leger was full of hire boats, so we perched on a short wharf and did a quick shopping trip before going on to St Julian.  An hour later it was full too.

We had wanted to eat at the Auberge restaurant for ages but we had always passed through on a Sunday - Tuesday should be OK, but no the chef's family had arrived so 'Ouvert' turned to 'Ferme' and 'drinks only'. Our romantic meal became a glass of vin rouge under the moon.

St Julian auberge

We were now recce-ing moorings near the TGV at Le Cruesot for Angie's UK trip.  Montchanin looked OK but no mod cons (even Peter deserves water) so off to Blanzy

Montchanin tile work - everything s decorated
Blanzy has free elec, water and is a nice spot but not an Alimentation for miles - Peter felt that he couldn't cope without milk and the other basics (are all men difficult?), so after a week it was off to Montceau where we had wintered in 2010.

Montceau is cheap but the Port is slowly deteriorating, we assume due to lack of interest by the Mairie. Peter reckoned he could survive despite a very noisy disco.There was also a big fair on and they threw us out on Angie's last night so they could have a firework display. So off to the Leclerc's pontoon, but the power T-Bar came adrift as we sped into the last ecluse so no reverse - Angie stopped the engine and Peter lassoed a bollard to bring us to a grinding halt - wet knickers all round. The next morning we got Angie to the TGV bus, Peter stocked up with food and changed a gas bottle and then singlehanded through the ecluse (easy downhill) and back into the Port.

Angie's op went well but in a last NHS moan (promise)  - she was given a list of symptoms ('if these arise phone this number immediately') - they did and she found the Hospital Dept was closed for the weekend with an answer machine saying 'Wait till Monday or go to A&E'.  So she did and after 5 hrs waiting was treated. Anyway all is well and Peter is now hurriedly cleaning the boat, washing and ironing waiting for her flight back via Lyon. Now to plot a slow course towards Roanne.

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