Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Up the River, Back to Gray, July 10-13

After a quick trip to the supermarket we pushed off from the pier in Gray about 10:30 Friday morning.  We’d head up the river a ways, find a shady spot and hang out for a couple of days, then head back to Gray for France’s Fete National, Bastille Day, the 14th.
After about 20k , 3 locks and 3 1/2 hours, we were snug in the trees just a little way from the village of Autet.  The weather had moderated a bit; it was still into the 90’s F in the afternoon but the mornings were pleasant. Saturday we rode our bikes up the riverside bike path (Veloroute 50.  It starts in Chalone sur Saone and generally follows the Saone River. It ends at the Luxembourg border several hundred kilometers away.) to Ray-sur-Saone, about 18k away and a village we had visited in 2011.  When we visited before they had a half dozen very nice platforms into an arm of the river.  Half of them have now deteriorated beyond use. There were no boats there. It was sad.

Sunday we took a short ride to Dampierre, on the river Salon.  
The best thing about the spot we were tied up in, however, was the plage (beach) that had been set up just a five minute walk downriver. A nice beach was marked off for swimming, there was a camping and picnic area with tables and a buvette, a snack bar, that opened at 4 pm each day and featured live music on Friday nights.  Being a French snack bar, of course, they had fresh made waffles, beer, wine and other liquid refreshments, and an assortment of huge sandwiches that came with piles of frites.  We wandered over for the music Friday night and had our aperitifs there.  It was busy with families and a very pleasant spot.

Oldtimer in the trees

We also discovered a new use for life rings, normally used when people fall overboard…..wait, maybe this is falling overboard! 

Monday morning we shoved off.  We’d gone as far up the river as we would this year.  It was time to head back south and we wanted to be in Gray for the celebrations happening on the 13th and 14th.

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