Thursday, 9 August 2018

2018 - Roanne Canal and Canal Lateral a Loire

Thursday 9th August 2018

We set off from Roanne on Wednesday 30th May, travelling the Canal de Roanne à Digoin, Canal Lateral à Loire, Canal de Briare, Canal du Loing, river Seine, Port du Arsenal, river Marne.

As we've written about the Roanne Canal and Lateral à Loire Canal quite a few times now I'll make that short and sweet and give more details about the other waterways as its been 5 years since we've passed this way.  

Canal de Roanne à Digion Canal 

Departing Roanne to a chorus of beeping horns saying
"bonne voyage....or something similar!"

Wednesday 30th May
Roanne to Briennon PK15
2.25hrs 15km 3 locks
Great to be back on the move.

Thursday 31st May
Briennon PK15 to Bourg PK35.6
3.5hrs 20km 3 locks

Friday 1st June
PK35.6 to Coulanges PK 15 on Canal Lateral à Loire
7.5hrs 28km 5 locks  We were delayed at first lock Le Bourg, we'd booked it for 9am but another boat moored with us must have booked it for 9.30am and we had to wait in the lock for them.  Why the VNF didn't tell us, we would have had a more leisurely start to the day.  We were also delayed for 40 mins at lock 2 on Lateral canal.  Only one lock keeper looking after two locks.  We were pretty tired by the time we moored up at 4.30pm.  Coulanges has electric and water, you pay with debit card to get jetton.  It didn't work when we were there and the chap moored there with us complained to whoever? and an electrician came and turned the electric on and we didn't have to pay.  Result!!

Saturday 2nd June
Coulanges PK15 to Beaulon PK37.6
6.45hrs inc lunch 17.5km 6 locks

We caught up with our good friends Sally and Charles on Bluegum at lock 7 due to lunch stop by the eclusiers.  They'd left Roanne a few days before us.  We had a lovely sociable time with them at Beaulon.  A boules match, ladies versus men, ladies won!! plus a shared BBQ with meat bought from the very nice butchers in the village.  

We had a huge downpour of rain while we were at Beaulon, gave the boat a good clean!

Monday 4th June
Beaulon PK 37.6 to Ganay-sur-Engiéve PK40.5
Probably our shortest trip this year!
50 mins 3km 1 lock
A nice mooring but as always, we seem to find noisy workmen, this time they were working across from our mooring cutting down trees from an overgrown garden and putting the branches through a shredder....ALL day!  Luckily we were off cycling for some of the day.

We used this mooring to cycle to Bourbon-Lacey.  Big mistake, we decided to visit on a Monday, everything just about closed, but not much to see even if it was open!!  Some nice old parts to the town but we've seen more impressive places.  Luckily supermarket was open so we popped in on our cycle back to the boat.  The road was quite busy so not a pleasant ride.

Tuesday 5th June
Ganay-sur-Engiéve PK40.5 to Vanneaux (Gannay-sur-Loire) PK52
Bit rainy during our trip to Gannay, I arrived wearing wet weather gear, Bluegum were at Gannay and Sally was wearing shorts and vest top; she and I looked like we were definitely dressed for different weather.

Gannay is a very good mooring, with electric and water (free)
You can order bread from the restaurant for the next morning.

We were intending to eat lunch at the restaurant by the mooring but they closed just before lunch!! So Sally, Charles, Kev and I walked into Gannay-Sur-Loire and had a very nice lunch at a restaurant come epicerie.  There was a set menu, we did all try to have the goats cheese starter but when Kev and Charles tried to order it after Sally and I had chosen that as our starter, they were told "non!"  So we presumed all the goats cheese was all gone, but then another group came in and they were allowed to order the goats cheese!  Very confusing. So Kev and Charles had cured meats instead.  Wish we spoke better french, although I don't think it would have helped!

Thursday 7th June
Gannay sur Loire PK 52.5 to Decize PK68.5
2 hrs 50mins 16.5km 4 locks
A nice easy trip to Decize and we were pleased to find space on the canal outside the entrance to the Decize marina.  We used the mooring spot to do a few trips to the nearby supermarket.  We had a very pleasant evening with a couple we had met at Auxonne marina last year.  They were moored up near us, busy doing painting jobs until it got too hot.  

Friday 8th June 
Decize PK68.5 to Chevenon PK93
4 hrs 14.5km 5 locks
We like this mooring as it is quiet and pretty rural.  

Saturday 9th June
Chevron PK93 to Le Guetin PK111
18km double lock 3 hrs
We set off early at 7.55am, there are no locks for 13km and then its the big double lock at Le Guetin.  There is a big mooring there so very easy to find a spot to moor up.  We enjoyed a very nice pizza at the local bistro.  

You can just about see Rangali moored up at the far end.
A nice place to visit is Apremont-sur-Allier, with a great garden to walk around.  An easy cycle ride away.
We didn't go this time around as thunderstorms/rain were forecast
Sunday 10th June
Le Guetin PK111 to Beffes PK129
4.5hrs (inc 45mins lunch) 18km 4 locks

Beffes is a great mooring, unfortunately we had to moor up on one of the finger pontoons (which is far too short for us) while a hire boat moored on the quayside, which is a perfect spot for our size boat, to have their long lunch.  So we couldn't really relax until they left.  We stayed here a couple of nights as its such nice mooring and we had a very nice lunch at the restaurant by the lock.

Tuesday 12th June
Beffes PK129 to Thauvenay PK155.5 
We decided to moor just above the lock 33 so that we could walk to the nearby cave called Eric Louis.  We bought enough for them to deliver the wine to the boat later that evening.  They do a very nice Sancerre, White and Rosé, Quincy (white), and Cremant du Loire.  It was lovely quiet mooring.  We had a set lunch at the hotel Le Floroine at Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre, always good value and all the locals go there. NO choice in the menu but there is a buffet to start.

Thauveny a very peaceful mooring above lock 33

Lock 33 you can see Sancerre on the hill
Thursday 14th June
Thauvenay PK156.5 to Léré PK 175
4 hrs 40 mins 19km 4 locks

We were happy to find space at Léré.  We moored up temporarily and moved neared the electric and water when a boat moved off after lunch.  We had a really delicious dinner at the restaurant in the village. We've done well for eating out recently! Hotel barges often moor here, there is a schedule written up at the port.  Boulangerie in the village.
There was a music night that we went along to for a short time, very busy with the locals.  there was a heavy metal band playing when we were there.

Sunday 17th June
Léré PK175 to Beaulieu-sur-Loire PK184
1hr 45 mins 9km 2 locks

This is another mooring that has hotel barges but there is plenty of room for other boats.  There are a couple of boulangeries in the town.  They were working on resurfacing the pavements and roads so it was a little bit chaotic there but will be nice once its finished.  I went for lovely run in the surrounding countryside, so recommend it for a nice cycle ride though the village along D951 and circling towards the Loire via l'Etang.

The next blog will take us onto Canal de Briare.

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