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

Paray-le-Monial

Crossing the Loire River in Digoin on the way to Paray-le-Monial

Crossing the Loire River in Digoin on the way to Paray-le-Monial

From Decize we made a succession of one-night stops in Gammy-sur-Loire, Diou, Digoin, until we reached Paray-le-Monial. Wanderlust spent two nights in Paray. With guests on board and an itinerary to match, our pace was quicker than usual. But it is also true that we chose to spend more time in the more interesting places we encounter. Neither Gammy-sur-Loire, Diou, nor Digoin appealed to us enough to make us want to extend our stay. For us, Paray-le-Monial with its Romanesque church and pleasant town center was the best place to spend an extra day, or days, if we had the time. 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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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

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