Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Saturday, August 11, 2018

It’s Not All Fun and Wine, July 16-20

Chitry-les-Mines was the site of 2009’s “Morvanstock,” a Dutch camping clubs rally and “talent” show in a nearby campground that was disrupted by a huge thunderstorm. No such activity this year. We planned a stop because utilities are available (laundry must be done) and the nearby town of Corbigny has a supermarket. We needed to restock.
And it’s not all wine in Burgundy. As you’ll see below, hay is a big product along with wheat, sunflowers and corn (the latter two for their oil).
There is also livestock. These critters joined us at one lock on Monday, keeping the grass under control.

It’s a 3 k ride on a moderately busy road, first a pretty good uphill and then down, to get to Corbigny from the moorings at Chitry. We set off Tuesday morning and got most of the way up the hill when there was a loud “pheeew!” and the tube in Cathy Jo’s back tire, the one difficult to remove and replace, blew out. We had another tube but it was back on the boat. Cathy Jo walked the bike on to find a place where we could get off the road while I cycled back to the boat to get the replacement tube. Tube replaced, we did a little sightseeing in town, visited the tourist office and made our way to the supermarket.

The church in Corbigny.

I just missed the picture of this hay wagon navigating a very narrow one-way street
but you get the idea.

In the afternoon, after a lunch at the marina’s buvette, the required rest after such a meal, and since it wasn’t too hot, we decided to cycle along the canal towpath to see what was ahead. About 2 k down the path, “pheeew!” and Cathy Jo’s rear tire blew AGAIN! While she walked the bike back to the boat, I cycled back to Corbigny to see if I could find another tube.
Usually the supermarkets and bricos (small hardware stores) have a bicycle section with some tubes. I visited both and there was nothing bicycle related to be found. Returning to the font of all knowledge, the tourist office, I asked the helpful young woman there if there was a bicycle shop in town. There was indeed so I picked up two tubes, just in case. Returning to the boat, Cathy Jo had removed the back tire and discovered the source of the problem: the tire was worn out, exposing the tube. By now it was too late to return to the cycle shop for a new tire; that would have to wait until tomorrow.
Luckily, there is a small bus that runs every couple of hours from Chitry to Corbigny. For €2 each we caught the Wednesday 10 am bus into town and the bike shop. A new tire in hand, we walked back to the boat and replaced the back tire. Since by now it was close to the lunch closure, we stayed put until about 12:45 and then headed off for the 3 k to Marigny-sur Yonne.
There wasn’t anything at Marigny, just an old hireboat base that had been converted into a small workshop and mooring run by an Englishman, Steve James. We did meet Irene and Richard on the small dutch barge Kleine Beer. As happens on the canals, we would see them several times over the next few days.
One feature of the canal on this side of the summit is lifting bridges that must be opened (and closed) by the boat crew. In 2009 they were all operated by a hand crank but they are now electrified and controlled by a push button. Much more user friendly!

Cathy Jo operates a bridge in 2009.

It was again (still!) very warm so rather than pull into the moorings at Tannay, we found a nicely shaded bank just before town for our Thursday stop, putting out stakes just after noon.
Tomorrow we would be off to our next stop at Villers-sur-Yonne.


  1. Funny how punctures seem to occur right in the middle of a journey. We had one the other day, right in the middle of a forest. We had a spare fortunately but it took a while to make the change, all the while slapping the mossies that were draining our precious bodily fluids.

  2. Punctures! We know about those too. Luckily none this year. I’ve just caught up with all your posts now and have enjoyed them tremendously. We arrived home from our own travels today, so I shall now enjoy further faring fun vicariously through yours and Ian/Lisette’s!

    1. Welcome back! We have about a weeks worth of travel before we reach our winter mooring in Briare. I'm way behind on the blog but we were in "no service land" for quite awhile and I used that as an excuse to procrastinate. I promise to catch up over the next few days!


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