The heavy rain abated yet again to develop into a lovely sunny but not too hot day. We took our time once CJ and JJ returned with fresh bread to enjoy the morning. CJ and JJ had also done a reconnoitre of the other side of the river and found an inn called Le Cheval Blanc. A good spot for elevenses. PP and CS then adjourned to the PO to post some blog entries. As always this proved a time consuming process - bring on high speed broadband, please.
Meanwhile the rest of the crew sought out the produce available at the Boulangerie and Boucherie, including French 'pies' which we enjoyed for lunch. We eased into the adjacent lock preparatory to the 1pm opening and slid effortlessly onward through 6 locks to Chantel-Censoir. PP and CS chose to do the tow path run on their bikes, which allows the Skip and crew a range of facilities including forward intelligence re lock conditions and able hands on shore to take lines when necessary.
We passed the Rochers du Saussois which we had been led to believe were spectacular rock formations coming right to the edge of the canal. They
JJ and IJ checking out ahead.
certainly changed the profile of the landscape while they lasted but we felt they were babies compared to some of our own wonderful rocky structures.
PP found that a number of the lock operators recognised Skip's hat and jersey from a distance and commended the Wallabies heartily. We seem to assist at the locks much more than other boats do and we believe we are gaining a good reputation because of it, for us and for Ozzies. At one point CS advised a lock man that two boats were approaching and he smiled and nodded 'I know'. They radio ahead to each other along the course of the canal to adjust the gate direction in the most efficient way.
We found the sixth lock with ease, it is quite hard to get lost, and having negotiated that one we stopped immediately thereafter at what turned out to be the LE BOAT base. This is another boat hire mob, but we were welcome to tie up nevertheless, and we did.
A walk into the village across the bridge netted supplies, including beer and wine. The village contained the ubiquitous church square and support buildings on the highest point
Guess who's a cycling machine??
but was otherwise rather uninspiring. We searched for info about getting to Vezelay but drew blanks everywhere, including at the Tourism office. These establishments appear to be universally staffed by women who speak not a word of English and who object to any interruption from their clearly vital paperwork (Auxerre was a notable exception). They are good places for maps though.
Fish and chips eaten from the roof of our vessel overlooking another boat containing, it seemed, at least half the population of Italy having enormously good fun, and another day is done!
Is speechless at this time - too much food, wine, cycling, etc!! Eat your hearts out ye scurvy knaves!!
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