Château de La Bussière

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On a patch of water 15 km from Briare and the Canal lateral à la Loire is Château de La Bussière, otherwise known as the Château des Pêcheurs, the château of the fishermen. The château gets its nickname from its avid fisherman former owner. Today the structure houses a collection of objects on the theme of freshwater fishing. It is an interesting and different side trip for those visiting the Centre-Val de Loire Region. Continue reading

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Crossing the Summit of the Canal de Briare

Entering a full lock: It is down hill on both ends of a summit pound.

Entering a full lock: It is down hill on both ends of a summit pound.

On the 11th of May, as we reached the top pound of the Canal de Briare, Wanderlust moved from the Seine River drainage to the Loire River drainage. From the beginning in Montargis, the Canal de Briare climbs 279 feet to its summit. Much of the climb occurs in the closely spaced locks that are clustered near the summit. On foot, climbing 279 feet may not seem like much. In a 40 tonne boat, climbing 279 is an amazing feat of engineering. Continue reading

Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses

Festina Tarde moors near the old lock staircase in Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses.

Festina Tarde moors near the old lock staircase in Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses.

Sixteen years before the Mayflower sailed in 1620, construction of the Canal de Briare began. It is one of the oldest canals in France and is the first summit level canal in Europe that used the pound locks commonly used on waterways today. Continue reading

Châtillon-Coligny

Wanderlust moored in Châtillon-Coligny.

Wanderlust moored in Châtillon-Coligny. She’s a little large for the spot.

Four days after our arrival in Montargis the VNF reopened the Canal de Briare to navigation. We were allowed to continue on our way south. On the first leg from Montargis, we cruised 23 kilometers passing through eight locks before we stopped in Châtillon-Coligny for the night. The smallish quay in Châtillon-Coligny is nicely developed with free water and electricity. Continue reading

On to Montargis

Californian owned Festina Tarde moored near us in Montargis. Her owners Jim and Mary are very familiar with this waterway.

Californian owned Festina Tarde moored near us in Montargis. Her owners Jim and Mary are very familiar with this waterway.

From our rural mooring just past lock 9 on the Canal du Loing, it was 12 locks and 26 km until we moored for the night in Montargis on the Canal de Briare, one of the oldest canals in France. We had to wait as the VNF fixed the second to last lock. The delay meant that we arrived at the last deep lock in Montargis after the closing time. Fortunately the VNF stayed late and let us through. Still, the delay made for a long day. Continue reading