On the Saone – Chalon to Macon and back – River Seille
Saturday 1 to Tuesday 18 July – Part 5
We had been told by quite a few boaters that the River Seille up to Louhans was lovely – and so it proved to be. The river is quite small and narrow, and also quite shallow in places, but we had no particular problems – never less than 60 cms under the keel. The countryside was beautifully lush and green.
There are 4 locks on this stretch up to Louhans. The first is operated by a couple of lockies, but the other three you manage yourself.
On the way back though, we arrived at the lockie operated one just at lunchtime. Lunchtime is sacred to the French! The lockie asked us if we were happy to do the lock ourselves, which of course was no problem, and off they went for their dejeuner. Bon Apetit.
This part of the waterways there are quite a number of hire boat companies and there were loads of ‘bumper’ boats as we call them around. We were with one young German couple in a couple of locks and they initially had not much clue as what to do.
As I have mentioned before, the waterway guide is often not very informative about the stopping places. Cuisery, as we found out, is known as the village of books, with loads of small bookshops. Not a lot else going on. Really not sure how those people managed to make a living. But the village was cute. The marina (or Halt Nautique as they are sometimes called) was absolutely lovely. Also a place for camper vans, as is often the case in France. But it had a lovely Capitainerie with a bar-cum-restaurant, a swimming pool, which was a first, and excellent ablution facilities. And the wifi worked. And not badly priced at Euro 17 per night all inclusive. We ended up overnighting there again on the way down, and met a whole group of fellow South Africans, on 4 hire boats.
Louhans was completely different. The mooring was okay – about 10 mins walk from the town. But there were no facilities. But then it was only 6 Euro per night.
The town was much bigger than Cuisery, but Louhans is known as the City of Arcades. The main street is made up of 157 arches – as can be seen in the photos. There were a couple of supermarkets, so we did a shop up and had a drink at a local brasserie and watched the world go by.
This part of France is known for it’s glazed roof tiles, for which the church steeple is a very good example.
Back on board we enjoyed the evening on the back deck, and cooked supper using our new generator.
Next day it was back down the Seille. We never went to Branges. Mainly I think because it hardly featured in the waterway guide, but I imagine it must be a reasonable place, as one of the hire companies has a base there.
Once leaving the Seille, we headed back up the Saone, stopping again at Tournus and Chalon, before heading into new waters – the Canal du Centre.
So next up – Canal du Centre.