Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Back Down Again, June 28-July 2

In 2011 we had traveled all the way up to the basin at Vandeness en Auxois to tie up.  This time we stopped a couple of locks short so we would be right under the chateau walls.We had already toured the chateau and had a great lunch at one of the restaurants in town so we didn’t need to duplicate that experience. We did make the hike up the hill.

 Pretty imposing from right under the walls.

The village that surrounds the chateau at the top of the hill is very pretty and there are several properties for sale but it’s a long hike to the grocery store.  And that is a problem here.  All of the villages along the canal are very small and there’s really only one market close to the canal the first day out of Dijon. Boulangeries are very scarce.  We lack bread!  All the other stores are a pretty good bike ride away so it’s best to stock up before leaving the big city. We did find one market about 9k away.  The ride to Creancey was uphill all the way.  Downhill with panniers full of groceries on the way back was kind of fun!

We just spent the one day (two nights) at a very nice bankside mooring, thus another bankside shot, this time with the lock in the background!

Also, like all great buildings in Europe, they light the buildings at night for drama’s sake.

When it was time to go we realized one of the drawbacks of having a larger barge.  We are too long to turn around in the canal so we would have to make the two up locks to the Vandeness basin where there was room to spin and then head back down the canal.  We planned the move for Sunday since the hotel barges would be headed back to Dijon on Monday and that way we could be one day ahead of them. Fewer big boats make a quicker trip.  It took us two long days, one 7 hours and 23 locks, the next almost 9 hours and 25 locks but we made it back to Dijon by 6:30 pm on Monday.  Tuesday was shopping day as the wine and grocery supply had gotten dangerously low and Wednesday it was off again for the long straight trip to the river. 
Rather that try to make it in one day, we decided to stop again at the Longecourt bankside mooring as France was having a major heat wave (over 100 F in the afternoon)  and we could find some afternoon shade there. Metal boats get really hot in full sun!
We got the first scheduled lock out of Dijon at 9 am and were tied up about 3:45.  9 am Tuesday morning we were off again, arriving along the bank just before the canal auction with the Saone River in the trees.  Shade morning and afternoon and just a 5 minute bike ride from the cooling waters of the river. Swimming was called for!  We’d stick around here for a couple of days.  Internet was available, groceries are a five minute bike ride from the boat and there’s a beer festival about 5 k back up the canal on Saturday, the 4th.  Bonne Fete Nacional!

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