Canal de Bourgogne: Entering Dijon

Wanderlust pauses for lunch inside a lock on the way to Dijon.

As we neared the port in Dijon we moved Wanderlust into one of the last locks of the day. Looking up we noticed a “slight” problem just ahead: There was no water in the pound below the lock. Without water, Wanderlust was not going to continue wandering. Continue reading

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Écluse de Réchicourt-le-Château

Wanderlust nears the top of the Réchicourt-le-Château lock.

Wanderlust nears the top of the Réchicourt-le-Château lock.

The eastern segment of the canal de la Marne au Rhin is appealing. It features two of the most spectacular pieces of infrastructure on the Freycinet gauge waterways of France, the Écluse de Réchicourt-le-Château and the Saint-Louis-Arzviller Inclined Plane. And for much of the distance, the countryside along the canal is lush and attractive. Continue reading

Southern Burgundy Wine Country

A road winds through some very expensive vineyards near Puligny-Montrachet.

A road winds through some very expensive vineyards near Puligny-Montrachet.

As we continue down towards the Saône River from the summit of the Canal du Centre the weather was increasingly hot and dry. In less than a month, we had gone from floods to drought. In 2015 France’s weather was bipolar. Continue reading

Crossing the Summit of the Canal du Centre

Wanderlust gains some bovine attention as she navigates the Canal du Centre.

Wanderlust gains some bovine attention as she navigates the Canal du Centre.

At the end of May, for the second time of the season, Wanderlust crossed the summit pound of a canal. This time the high point was on the Canal du Centre. At the top of the Centre the water drains to either the Loire or the Saône river basins. The waters of the Loire eventually reach the Atlantic Ocean; the waters of the Saône drain into the Rhone and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France. Continue reading

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

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

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

To Nemours

Château de Nemours

Château de Nemours

With the rains continuing to swell the River Loing we had a choice. We could hunker down on the river in Moret-sur-Loing and wait out the flood. Or we could continue onto the protected waters of the Canal du Loing nearby. If stayed moored in Moret we might be pinned down for some time. Being stuck in Moret is hardly a hardship but it seemed best to move on while we still could.

Continue reading