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Approaching Digoin aqueduct

Approaching Digoin aqueduct

 

Friday 4th to Saturday 5th August 2017.

Digoin to Bourg-le-Compte (Wild Stop)

Another lovely but hot day on the Canal de Roanne a Digoin. Yesterday, while visiting the aquaduct, we had spoken to the lockie at the next lock, which it seemed was manned all the time. So no need to worry. We set off just after 10.00 crossing the aquaduct over the River Loire.

On the Digoin aqueduct

On the Digoin aqueduct

I always find it fascinating cruising along an aquaduct, so high up in the air.

And the lockie was ready for us – the last lock on the Canal du Centre was quite deep – a drop of over 4 metres.

Last lock on Canal du Centre

Last lock on Canal du Centre

But all went well. Shortly after that we made a sharp turn into the Canal de Roanne a Digoin, a much narrower and more peaceful stretch of water, with not too many locks with some nice long cruising stretches between. A lot of very low bridges though, for which we had to keep all the awnings down – not so nice in the blazing heat.

Canal Digoin a Roanne low bridge

Canal Digoin a Roanne low bridge

But after a reasonably pleasant trip, 3 locks (locking up again) and about 20 kms, we opted to overnight in a beautiful deserted stretch of canal, with the nearest town of Bourg-le-Compte at least a km away.

Wild stop near Bourg-le-Compte

Wild stop near Bourg-le-Compte

We love these wild stops, and this one was truly idyllic. No noises other than nature. We sat out on the back deck and had our wine and supper by candlelight, under a full moon. Truly magic. It was still hot and we took a stroll along the canal at about 10.00 pm before finally retiring.

Evening by candlelight

Evening by candlelight

On to Briennon

Next morning we carried on to Briennon. We tucked behind a very big UK registered barge, also heading to winter in Roanne. Only 4 locks and 20 kms, but they were all deep locks.

Locking up on Canal de Roanne a Digoin

Locking up on Canal de Roanne a Digoin

One had floating bollards but the others were quite difficult to get the ropes up, even with a lockie helping. And plenty more very low bridges!
Briennon had a good write up in the guide. When we arrived there was a funfare setting up, and some running races happening. All very festive but very noisy. Mooring was reasonable – the first night was free, but we paid 7 Euro for electricity and water.

Briennon

Briennon

So we had a drink or two at the local bar, watched all the festivities for a while and then went back on board for supper.
Another lovely evening even though a bit noisy.

Next – the last stretch to Roanne.

And of course have a look at Karen’s blog here for a different perspective on our travels!

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