As Sunday was going to be a very hot day, we had arranged with our éclusière to go down our first lock at 10 so we could moor out in the country again before lunch. Before then it was a trip to the boulangerie and then to wish the four hire boats bon voyage as they were all leaving before us and in the opposite direction.
|Our first lock on Sunday at the far end of Montbard|
We’ve been a bit slow to realise it but at the last dozen or so locks the metalwork (handrails and bollards) have been painted in the VNF livery of blue, green and white. We had just thought they were being well looked after! You can just see the handrails and bollards in the picture above.
Soon after the lock we passed the 100km stone. This meant we only have 100 kilometres to go before we complete our circular trip and return to Migennes where we started. With only 50 locks left it means we will have a more lock-free journey than we have had for the last week or so. We want to be back in Migennes by Tuesday 18th June so that means an easy average of just over six kilometres and three locks a day.
|Point kilometre 100|
We saw no more boats on the move during the morning but, on the butterfly front, caught the odd scarce swallowtail, brimstone, common blue and small tortoiseshell paying brief visits to our flowers as we cruised along. We also spotted a couple of freshly emerged second brood speckled woods.
|Approaching our last lock of Sunday, at Buffon|
We were looking for a nice quiet spot where there was shade for Buddy and somewhere where we could safely have a barbecue. We moored up at a likely place just before Buffon and then went for a walk further along the towpath to see if there was anywhere better on the other side of the village.
|Moored outside Buffon|
At the other side of the bridge in the middle of the village a fishing competition was in full swing. There were numbered pegs that were very close together, so it looked serious stuff until we realised that it was mainly children and teenagers on the pegs and the adults were sitting back drinking wine and generally having a good time 😉
|Fishing competition of sorts|
We found a better spot to moor about a kilometre the other side of Buffon so it was back to the boat and a mini last cruise before mooring up for lunch and the rest of the day.
|Moored at Forge de Buffon|
It was such a hot day that we did very little else other than sit in the shade. We even barbecued in the shade later in the evening whilst listening to South Africa getting beaten again in the cricket.
The forge, or ironworks, were built in the late 1700s by the metallurgist, George-Louis Leclerc the Count of Buffon. It was built in the same philanthropic manner that Titus Salt built his mills and village for his workers in Saltaire near Bradford in Yorkshire. The forges at Buffon included houses and associated shops and school for over 400 workers. The forges were driven by waterwheels with water provided by the River Armançon.
It was a fairly cloudy morning on Monday so when Karen returned from her morning run we spent some while planning our trip to Paris in July. As much as it’s fun not having a plan and going when the fancy takes us, for somewhere like Paris it’s a bit different. We need to book our mooring slots at the different places we want to visit and at €79 a night we need to get it right. The other constraint is that there aren’t many places to moor overnight on the week or so we will be spending on the River Yonne and then the Seine. This means we need to set a daily target and also work out things like fuel, food and water stops.
Anyway, we had a really successful session and ended up making our reservations although we’re yet to hear whether or not there are spaces available.
After lunch we set off for Perrigny-sur-Armançon with a view to mooring somewhere quiet where we can continue touiching up the paintwork. In the end we couldn’t find antywhere that was ideal unless we didn’t mind stinging nettles or using a gangplank. For some reasons the pounds are a bit low at the moment and also the sides are very rocky.
In the end we moored up and decided we should walk the next few kilometres to see if we could find somewhere better. We found a spot just before the next lock so we walked back to get the boat and, at one point, I just avoided stepping on a grass snake.
|Grass snake camouflaged on the towpath|
When we arrived at the mooring, we found it was even worse than before and couldn’t get in at all so I jumped off and walked down to the lock to see if I could find a number to call an éclusier so we could go down. An éclusière was actually tending her garden and was more than happy to let us down but explained that we would have to go through two locks before the pounds and therefore moorings improved.
We heeded her advice and went down two locks and ended up at a brilliant mooring in Cry-sur-Armançon. I say it was brilliant for several reasons: there was no access other than to boaters; we had the place to ourselves; it was ideal for doing the paintwork and we had access to water.
|Our mooring at Cry-sur-Armançon|
|Spot the difference, and I don’t mean the washing|
As we had our own turning circle, we were able to wash the boat down and then spin it around and wash the other side. Everything is now in place for carrying on the maintenance on Tuesday. I had arranged to go down the next lock at 1.00 on Tuesday but took the éclusière’s number in case we decide to stay put because it’s due to be really hot again tomorrow.
It was also a good mooring because we wanted to visit the village anyway and will also be able to cycle back to the previous village that we missed too. The only drawback was the poor phone/internet signal but at least it was strong enough to listen to the England-Bangladesh match (and write a blog update!).
|Our view of old quarry workings from the front|
The weather is set to stay hot so we will be continuing to leave the doors and windows open all night which will be fine until the mosquitos start arriving, but we haven’t come across more than the occasional one so far.
On Monday we ended up cruising nine kilometres down five locks and we were glad we didn’t give up trying to find somewhere decent to moor.