Sunday 23rd July 2017
Some days are full-on boating days and this was one of them! Lots and lots of locks as well as lots of low bridges.
Fortunately the weather was good – not raining, but cloudy with a comfortable temperature. Perfect as we had to have all the awnings down for the whole day. The locks between St Leger and Montchanin were in 2 ‘chains’, with the locks very close together. 19 locks in all, with a total vertical rise of 67 metres and a whole 19 kms distance.
The lock gods were on our side – we only saw one or two other boats so had no waiting at any lock. And the locks were all set in our favour as we had arranged with VNF for our departure time so we made pretty good time, arriving in Montchanin at about 15.00 hrs.
Even so it was an action packed day – many of the locks were deep, some with floating bollards but most not. And the bollards are never in the same position at each lock, nor is the lock operating pole in the same position. Each lock is a new experience requiring different fendering and mooring rope arrangement.
This time the guide book was completely wrong. We expected to find a relatively large marina with electricity and all amenities. Surprise – the port was completely disused and full of derelict old boats! Fortunately a few hundred metres back we had spotted a good wild stopping place. We returned there and tied up under some trees. It was a very pleasant mooring actually, except for the amount of leaves that fell onto Shangri La which left some stain marks which we struggled to clean off.
The town of Montchanin was a let down too. Not much there at all. Apparently it owed it’s existance to the Grand Burgandy Tile Factory of the 18 and 19 hundreds. We noticed quite a few good examples of these tiles from the canal. But being Sunday, there were no shops or anything open at all.
So it was back on board – lovely lazy relaxing evening. Another chance to run our new generator and for Karen to prepare more of her excellent French cuisine! We are fortunate to have a well kitted out galley aboard.
For Karen’s take on our travels, check out her blog www.greenpointgreenie.co.za .
Next – On to Montceau-les-Mines