Montceau-les-Mines

After a long day we reached the outskirts of Montceau-les-Mines on the 29th of May 2015. Wanderlust was now on the Canal du Centre having left the Canal latéral à la Loire in Digoin. The Centre was the last of … Continue reading

Decize

Wanderlust creatively moored in Decize.

Wanderlust creatively moored in Decize.

Decize has a large modern port. It is very nice as long as your boat fits on the short finger pontoons. We have encountered this problem–a port set up only for cruisers and hire boats–a little too frequently. Fortunately in Decize we were able to improvise. With the port less than 30% occupied, the capitaine didn’t object to Wanderlust creative mooring blocking a few unused mooring places. Continue reading

Nevers

Palais ducal de Nevers

Palais ducal de Nevers

A shunt off of the Canal latéral à la Loire leads to Nevers’ port de plaisance. The port is about a mile from Nevers’ historic center on the far side of the Loire. Once this spur canal to the port continued further and connected the waterway to the Loire River.

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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. Continue reading

Sancerre

Becky climbs to Sancerre.

Becky climbs to Sancerre.

The famous wine town of Sancerre is roughly 2 miles from a canal-side mooring in Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre. With several wine-drinking friends due to come on board soon, we needed to stock the bilge. The best option seemed to visit the town by bike and bring back a couple of cases of wine. But there was a challenge. Sancerre is about 700 feet above Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre. Getting the bike-trailer combination up the hill was a challenge. It didn’t help when Becky, who wasn’t pulling the trailer, chose the steepest possible route. Continue reading

Houards Lock

Fenik's deck signals the skipper.

Feniks’ deckhand signals the skipper.

Buying wine at a lock is an odd concept.  It is a little like being offered a selection of premium microbrews by the toll taker as you pass through a tollbooth on a motorway. Nevertheless you can do just that at the Houards Lock on the Canal Latéral à la Loire. The éclusiers at the Houards run a side business selling wine from the famous nearby appellations Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire. Continue reading

Châtillon-sur-Loire

Châtillon-sur-Loire's bridge crosses the Loire River.

Châtillon-sur-Loire’s bridge crosses the Loire River.

The Briare Aqueduct carries the Canal lateral à la Loire over the Loire River. On the southwestern side of the river, the canal turns to the southeast and about five kilometers later arrives in Châtillon-sur-Loire. We paused for lunch at Châtillon-sur-Loire’s halte nautique on our way past. Continue reading

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

The Briare Aqueduct

Le pont-canal de Briare

Le pont-canal de Briare

Near the commune of Briare, on the Canal lateral à la Loire, is the Briare Aqueduct. The Briare Aqueduct allows boats traveling the Bourbonnais route to cross the River Loire without have to navigate the river itself. Built by Gustave Eiffel, Daydé, and Pillé, this masonry and steel canal bridge was the longest navigable aqueduct in the world up to 2003. Continue reading