Back down to St Jean-de-Losne
20th to 28th August 2016
And so we headed back down the Canal du Rhone au Rijn towards St Jean-de-Losne, 78 kms and 26 locks all over again!
We wanted to break the back of the trip to Dole so planned a hard days boating, with a view to overnighting in Ranchot.
It chose that day to rain, but fortunately it was not cold as well. Anyway, after an event free trip, we arrived at Ranchot about 15.30 only to find all the moorings full!
This is a common problem at this time of year. So we boated on… and the next place was full, and on… and so was the next. Bit of a panic, but at about 18.30 we made a wild stop at Orchamps, opposite a camping site. According to our Guide Fluviale, there was a mooring spot here. They were wrong again, but we did manage to sort of get alongside the bank and moor up using our pegs. A really wild stop as it turned out.
We enjoy wild stops and it was a lovely evening.
Next day was fine and hot. With only a relatively short distance to go, we made a leisurely start and after going through picturesque Rochet de Nenon, tied up at Dole before lunch time.
Smell of diesel!
As I went down below, I could smell diesel! I lifted the engine room cover and straight away could see diesel had been spraying from somewhere. There was a leak at one of the fuel injector pipes. I tried to tighten it, but to no avail. It was a Sunday, so not much I could do about it for the time being, other than clean up and try to get rid of the smell of diesel, which we did.
Monday morning I tried to get some assistance from the Nicols Hire Boat company, but it was change over day for them so they were not much help. I phoned our H2O marina in St Jean, and they promised to send an engineer after lunch. (You know how the French are about lunchtime!) Meanwhile, we walked up town to the tourist office to catch up on wifi and comms. There was quite a festive scene outside the tourism office – a wine tasting session and some trditional French dancing, with loads of people around. We happily tasted some wines and watched the display. A local asked us where we came from. South Africa seemed to pique their interest and suddenly we were being interviewed by a lady from the tourist office. She asked us a whole lot of questions, writing furiously, and asked to come down to the Shangri La for a photo. Which she did, and said it was all for the local newspaper. Somehow we didnt think much would come of it, but 2 days later, as we were negotiating a lock, a local runner came past and said he had seen all about us in the newspaper. Fame at last!
Back at the boat, the chap from H2O guy arrived, and like me could not tighten the fuel pipe. So he took the offending part away and promised to return the next day with it repaired.
Our friends El and Mo were due to join us that evening, for a few days, so the rest of the afternoon was spent preparing a barbeque (smoked tofu and veg kebabs) and lazing in the sun. They duly arrived, a bit late as the traffic had been terrible, and we spent a great evening catching up on each other’s travels over supper and a few glasses of wine!
Next morning, I contacted H2O to find out when the mechanic would return. Only in the afternoon, it seemed, so it would be another day here in Dole.
We took a walk along the Doubs River to where there was apparently a beach. A rocky place at the little barrage. But one could swim, so we had a cooling dip.
Back to Dole and enjoyed a couple of lunchtime beers at a local restaurant. The mechanic duly arrived and fitted the repaired pipe in a few moments. Tested it and all well.
Too late to start boating, so the rest of the day was a wonderful lazy afternoon, with supper and drinks on board while watching the world go by.
We love have friends spend time with us on Shangri La. Boating in France is a wonderful experience, and they get to see places from a completely different perspective.
For Karen’s version of the story, read her blog here