Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Goodby to Ines

The taxi driver called the boat around 10 am. There were no trains running. A quick check of the chart showed we could get to Briare, a town with more train connections, by early in the afternoon and, lucky for us, that section of the canal had just been reopened after the high water.  Off we went. Briare has two ports, the newer commercial port and the Port du Plaisanciers which used to be the commercial port and where the canal used to enter the river. During the big floods of last week, the water had risen so high in the pleasure boat port that the quays were submerged and people were trapped in their boats. Many of the boats were moved into the commercial port which was now crammed. There would be no place for us there, the pleasure boat port was still closed so we just had to stake to the bank a little way down the canal. 
We hustled into the tourist office where the extremely helpful woman checked bus schedules. No bus to Paris but there was one to Orleans, a much larger city where trains might still be running. Unfortunately, the bus had left an hour before and there wouldn’t be another until tomorrow. Nothing else to do but call a taxi. The tourist office lady made a couple of phone calls and found a driver that would make a deal for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Paris. 15 minutes later we put Ines bags into the car and off she went. Now we had to figure out what to do with the rest of our summer.
Meanwhile, central France was in a watery mess. The Seine was over it’s banks causing the closure of the Metro and several of the big museums and turning the already difficult traffic into a nightmare. Art on the lower levels of the Louvre had to be relocated. Boaters were trapped in several locations where canals cross rivers and would be for weeks. Pontoons and quays were underwater trapping people for days. We just felt lucky to be on a canal that had little problems other than a stretch closed for a couple of days. It could have been so much worse!

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