We both maintain paper diaries, Peter's is a boat one of moorings, hours run, fuel used etc while Angela does the social one (nice churches, shops and boats/people met) so the blog could be a bit superfluous - but with the rapidly changing scenery it is a help to know roughly where we were a week, month, year ago with the pictures to match (Pagny where??). Angie will also be able to use it to bore her grandchildren to death if she ever has any! Our best man died yesterday unexpectedly so we are both feeling rather mortal especially as he was 5 years younger than Peter!
Back to our travels :) - A greyish run up the Seine to the River Marne and onto new territory again. Commercial traffic was quite thick as one of the northern canals had been blocked. All the boat ports were full of sports boats given our proximity to Paris but haven't seen a hire boat since the River Loing
|River Marne ecluse|
|A small tunnel to practise for the big ones|
The few river derivations (canalised bits) were narrow and overgrown so a bit slow.
The weather had deteriorated so once we moored (green bank) Peter did his Mrs Mop imitation in the rain (in a pair of shorts) to clean down the boat - not a pretty sight. At Lagny we ended up moored to dolphins (Duc d' Albe in french?) - met our first Kiwis this season (John and Jane) on a a baby barge 'Elise Rivet' - the antipodeans seem the only cheerful boaters at the moment not sure why. Peter and John enjoyed watching the ABs beat England (again).We shared ecluses with them to Meaux where the port was empty when we arrived.
|Meaux Bishops Palace and Gardens|
Onwards to Vandieres where Angie enjoyed the weather and yes - another BBQ - lovely mooring.
|Kes cowering in the shade at the back|
|A happy boater|
|Our first 'River Yonne' type locks with sloping sides and internal pontoon|
Between Reuil and Ay we moved onto the Canal Lateral au Marne (still heading east). We green banked at Ay near a supermarket - given the low diesel price (€127.7/litre) Peter jerricanned 200 litres to the boat - - next top up hopefully in Luxembourg. The east end of the Canal Lateral was boring miles and miles of straight canal and not a lot of scenery or life - very few boats around (one a day).
|Chalons en Champagne|
|A dog's life|
Into Bar Le Duc where we sneaked onto the last mooring (and met the new owner of Avontuur - Ian Lones old barge). Peter got dragged to the top of the old town up thousands of steps (he counted every one and his counting is creative).
|Bar le Duc clock tower|
Ligny was a lovely little port so we spent three nights there - joined by 'Elise Rivet' the second night - Peter retired half way through the BBQ with a severe case of 'Delhi belly' - Peter blamed the unwashed grapes, Angie the chausson au pomme - unusual as his stomach is normally built of cast iron.
|More impressive close up|
We stopped at Demanges just before the tunnel - another 'desolate' village with the alimentation, boucherie and bar shut down. Peter is having to bake - pity he sticks to bread (and gingerbread).
Up until recently everyone was towed through Mauvages tunnel but the next morning we went through occasionally accompanied by a cyclist.
|Mauvages tunnel tug now disused|
|Mauvages tunnel entrance (west end)|
|Tunnel exit (east end)|