We fancied a short cruise on Wednesday and met our éclusier at 10 at the first lock. For some reason, and I forgot to ask him why, he wasn’t wearing the VNF uniform. He had a very laid back approach but, after supplying him with coffee, we suddenly realised we had gone down seven locks in the first hour.
|First lock of Wednesday|
|The Swedes' lock cottage|
|The Norwegians' lock cottage|
|Norwegians waving us away from their lock 😉|
|The port at Venarey les Laumes|
We had to turn left into the basin to get water which was quite fun negotiating because we had to spin the boat around with the plastic hire boats close by. This was the first hire boat base we have seen on this canal which will explain why we haven’t seen any hire boats so far.
I went to the captainerie to find out about services: there was no rubbish disposal, but we could have water for €3.50. We had showers, did the washing, washed the side of the boat and had lunch while taking on water and then duly paid.
|Moored for lunch and water|
|Our mooring for Wednesday night|
Karen cycled into Venarey to top up with fruit and veg while Buddy and I went for a walk and a spot of butterflying. As we walked along, I noticed that there were dozens of new poplars growing along the towpath and found out that 350 had been planted along this section in 2017 to replace ones lost by disease.
|Attached to many of them was the name of the person who planted that particular tree|
|Looks like Karen got the short straw doing the shopping rather than butterflying 😉|
On Wednesday we cruised four kilometres down ten locks.
As agreed, we arrived at the first lock at nine on Thursday morning where two éclusiers were waiting for us but no hire boats in sight.
|Karen taking us through the first lock of the day|
|Forecast for the next few days|
We have seen the above profile many times, but those high temperatures have only materialised a few times when the actual day arrived.
At the second lock the éclusière came up to me and started telling me something that was totally incomprehensible. Usually, when I tell someone that I didn’t understand they will either a) repeat it but at a slower pace, b) repeat it but choosing different words or c) say it in English or at least broken English. She was a lovely lady but insisted on taking the American option: repeating the same words but louder and no slower.
Of course, by now my mind was going blank. Usually, in this situation, Karen and I find we can at least pick up on a few words and then get the gist by repeating our understanding in our French. In the end, she smiled, admitting defeat and went back to operating the lock. The closest I could get to an understanding was that there was some sort of Swiss cheese, that wasn't weed or a boat, either covering or crossing the canal. As it turned out, the rest of the cruise was uneventful, and we saw no cheese or boats or anything else that we should have been warned about.
|Last lock of the morning|
|Our view of Courcelles-lès-Montbard|
|Our Thursday night mooring|