Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Long Hot Summer

We have now been cruising for 6 weeks. In that time we have only had to close in the canopy twice for rain, and temperatures continue to climb across France, a change from recent years, as we seek shade, mooring under trees when we can. The concern is that some canals are running low on water. So far it has not been a problem for us, Antiope needs less than a metre to float.

The Burgundy waterways, of central France 
From Migennes our route has been southwards along the Nivernais, Loire Lateral, and onto the Canal du Centre, joining the Saone river at Chalon sur Soane.  

A stork nest alongside the canal
 The Canal du Centre was completed in 1793 as a link between the navigable Loire river which runs westwards to the Atlantic coast and the Saone river which runs southwards towards the Med.
It is claimed the Leonardo da Vinci had a hand in the planning but the engineer Emiland Gauthey completed the surveying, he found 'straight lines boring' so the canal is a delight to cruise with gentle bends following the contours of the hills. 

The Canal du Centre runs through the Cote de Beaune wine region.

The hotel boat 'Finesse'  

The Canal du Centre is a popular route for the luxury hotel boats, A typical double cabin aboard these boats can run to US$1800 per night  

A well cared for lock keepers house
In a deep cutting we find this mural, solely for the eyes of passing boats. 
We cross over the Loire river at  Digoin

Montceau les mines, a lift bridge in the middle of town.

The cruise so far has been one of exploring new territory slowly. At Chalon sur Saone we have the option of returning North via the Saone and the Burgoine canal or retracing or route via the Loire Lateral canal perhaps with a diversion to Paris.
What a delightful dilemma to have 


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