Thursday 26th September
Vincelles to last lock of Canal du Nivernais
14km 7 locks
We decided to eat at the little café/creperie by the quayside in Vincelles last night; it was about 10 steps from our boat. We wanted to go there as we had seen so many closed down businesses along the way, which is a shame. You can’t moan about all these restaurants etc being closed and then not go to them if they are open! We want it to be there next year! We had a nice meal, my flambé crepe was delicious!
There was a hotel boat moored at Vincelles which left for the lock at 9am so we decided to let it get on its way before we left around 10am, but there are lots of hire boats making their way to and from Auxerre and we had to wait at the next lock, and we shared locks for most of the way.
The trip consists of stretches of river then stretches of canal, which makes it really interesting. We decided to moor up before the last lock on the Nivernais (river section) at a very nice mooring close to a park with rings to tie to. It’s very quiet here (until the kiddies playground gets busy late afternoon). We walked the short distance into Auxerre and visited Aquarelle where we will be leaving our boat for the winter. We met Mike the owner who we’d spoken to a few times on the phone. The marina was packed with long-term boats/barges and the hire boats have moored alongside these boats, he advised us to arrive tomorrow after 2pm to give the hire boats chance to leave and enable us to moor up along the quay.
We then walked into town, visited the beautiful Cathedral, enjoyed a glass of Chablis in the town square in the sunshine (where we sat last year when we visited by car and we dreaming of being here on our boat), we wandered around the shops then back to the boat for a BBQ. Around dusk time there was a terrific noise from the roosting birds in the nearby trees, never heard a sound like it. During the night we heard another owl, I thought it was a lovely sound, although Kev was complaining about the hooting owl this morning! He liked it too but said it just didn’t know when to stop!
Friday 27th September
2km 1 lock
After a relaxing morning on the boat we made our last journey for the year to Auxerre and our winter mooring. We topped up the fuel tanks and then moored up in our final spot for the year.
From Thursday 25th July to Friday 27th September we have completed 44 travelling days, taking us from Dunkerque to Auxerre with a total of 1068 km with just over 300 locks. Our first year onboard in France has been everything we’d hoped it would be and more. We managed to get through sections of canal/rivers before the planned lock closures, we stayed onboard our own boat in the middle of Paris which was amazing and something we didn’t think we’d do this year because of planned lock closures on The Seine. Most of the time we’ve had fantastic weather, we have been really lucky I am sure.
The French people have been so friendly and so very understanding of our poor French.
We’ve not once had a problem in finding water, we’ve never been low of fuel. Finding a suitable mooring wasn’t always easy at the beginning of our journey but once we got onto our first ‘friendly’ canal, Canal du Loing, its been pretty easy. I think it will take me quite a while when I get home not to be looking at street furniture that look like mooring bollards and getting excited that’s its something we can moor up to.
We plan to stay here onboard until middle of next week,to enjoy the town and then its home to UK, lets hope the sun is shining for us.
|The last lock we will do this year|
|Last low bridge of our trip|
|Marina is on the right where we will be mooring our boat for the winter|