Pont-canal du Guétin

Pont-canal du Guétin

Pont-canal du Guétin

Between Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre and Nevers the Canal latéral à la Loire crosses the Allier River, a tributary to the Loire. To do this, the waterway climbs via a deep double lock to the Pont-canal-Guétin, a canal bridge over the Allier. Pont-canal-Guétin is 370-meters long and is one of the longest canal bridges in France.

The Canal latéral à la Loire has three impressive pont-canals. Besides the Pont-canal-Guétin there is the 243-meter long Pont-canal de Digoin ahead on our route and the 662-meter long Briare Aqueduct, the longest pont-canal in France. All told, a boat traveling the length of the Canal latéral à la Loire will travel well over a kilometer on these aqueducts.

On this section of canal the lock gates generally operate manually.  A keeper closes the gate after Wanderlust has left the lock.

On this section of canal the lock gates generally operate manually. A keeper closes the gate after Wanderlust has left the lock.

Today the Canal latéral à la Loire is largely the domain of the hire boats, hotels, and privately owned boats like Wanderlust. The commercial traffic that once justified the construction of these pont-canals and the other impressive feats of canal infrastructure is largely gone.

(Wanderlust crossed the Pont-canal-Guétin on the 20th of May 2015.)

Approaching the lock and canal bridge complex

Approaching the lock and canal bridge complex

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The lock keeper lowers a hook to pull up Wanderlust's bow line.  So far below the top, ropes don't do much good here.

The lock keeper lowers a hook to pull up Wanderlust’s bow line. So far below the top, ropes don’t do much good here.

Rain wear is a good idea!

Rain wear is a good idea!

The lock keeper signals to ask Becky if she is OK as a fountain of water gushes out of the lock gate ahead.

The lock keeper signals to ask Becky if she is OK as a fountain of water gushes out of the lock gate ahead.

In the lock, looking backwards towards the canal.

In the lock, looking backwards towards the canal.

The gates to the first lock close behind Wanderlust.

The gates to the first lock close behind Wanderlust.

Wanderlust navigates over the Allier River.

Wanderlust navigates over the Allier River.

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