Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Since we would only be able to proceed a little way up the Canal du Briare before turning around, we figured we might as well turn around now. All along we have been planning to have some work done on the boat; mostly replacing fixed windows with opening ones to improve air circulation, especially when it’s hot (if it ever gets hot again!). We had contemplated taking the boat to Holland for the work, as that is where the windows will come from and it would be easier to find a yard to do the work. Since we were going to have to start our summer’s journey all over again from Saint Jean, we thought we might as well just head for Holland and make arrangements for the work. The trip would take us up the Saone to the Petite Saone and onto the Belgian Meuse, a navigation that we really enjoyed in 2009, through Maastricht to Maasbracht, kind of the boatyard capital of Holland.
First we would have to recross Le Pont Canal, the bridge that takes the canal over the Loire. 

 Built between 1890 and 1894 with the help of the same engineer that built the Eiffel Tower, the bridge is the longest in Europe at about 663 meters (almost 2200 feet). It’s very Deco.

And the river rushes by below.

Now it was just a matter of “making kilometers.” We’d just passed through this same scenery over the last couple of weeks but if we wanted to get to Holland by the first of September, we were not going to be able to dawdle too much. We did make it a point to find some more of that great Pouilly Fume and goat cheese, however. Priorities!

All the rains had washed alot of decayed plant materials into the canal and raised the tannin levels. The falling water over the top of this lock gate had created a foam monster!

We had to go very slowly out of the lock or it would have overwhelmed the front deck.

The old railroad bridge above Menètrèol is now a very elaborate footpath.

Cathy Jo on the bridge/path.

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