Leaving Epernay we continued down the canalized River Marne as we headed towards Burgundy. The river took us by the famous vineyards of Champagne and past numerous attractive villages. Production of Champagne is a big business in this region. There is the ever-present temptation to stop in and taste the offerings at one of the many Champagne houses along the way.
When we travel on a canal we can drive stakes into the bank and moor up pretty much anywhere we want. On a river, we need to find established mooring areas. The established moorings on the Marne are often near small towns. This is how we stopped in at the “typically” French villages of Dormans and Jaulgonne.
Perfectly pleasant, Dormans and Jaulgonne are safe for the foreseeable future from the hordes of guidebook toting tourists. They are the types of places that would only be discovered by accident by passing visitors. Though there is nothing in particular to recommend Dormans and Jaulgonne, they represent what we’ve come to love about France. In France, small town life has a pleasure of its own.
There are 3 locks and 30 km of river between Epernay and Dormans.
Mooring in Dormans is on a floating pontoon across the water from the town. In theory the pontoon has services, power (6 A) and water, for a charge but these were turned off for the winter when we arrived at the beginning of October. Dormans’ train station is conveniently located in the town.
Jaulgonne is 11 km and one lock from Dormans.
At Jaulgonne there is space for one barge in front a convenient concrete platform. Services, both water and electricity, are available for € 5/night with a key available in town at the Mairie. The electrical feed uses a standard domestic Europlug that we did not have at the time so we could not verify that it worked. We also had a bit of problem with the water pressure. It was so high that it blew the quick release fittings off of our hoses. The sign at the mooring states that visits are limited to one night but the Mairie had no problem with us staying longer.