Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Surgy and the Roches de Basseville, July 26, 27

After leaving Clamecy on Thursday, our plan was to spend the next night in the town of Coulange. We had stopped for lunch there during 2009 and noted that it was a “nice place.”
We arrived around noon to discover that it was no longer a “nice place.” A looked-like-it-was-abandoned hireboat base now took up most of the moorings and an ad hoc campsite was also very close. We had passed a nice spot with picnic tables and large shade trees just a couple of kilometers back so after about five minutes of deliberation we threw off our lines and headed back through the lifting bridge to the halte at Pousseaux, just 20 minutes away. There was a hireboat already there but there was plenty of room and they were only stopping for lunch. We had the place to ourselves after they left, lazing in the shade. We also found a great swimming hole underneath a nearby railroad bridge and were entertained by the “yoots” jumping from it into the cool river water.
It was still very hot and it was only later we read that the prolonged heat wave we were experiencing was Europe-wide, with effects ranging from unusual forest fires in Sweden to cancelled river cruises on the Rhine due to lack of water.

We had passed an interesting rock formation just a couple of kilometers before the halte and our chart showed the Roches de Basseville so Friday morning before we left we lifted the bikes off the boat and went for a little ride while it was still cool.
We passed through the village of Surgy with it’s beautiful town hall/multipurpose municipal building and on to the rocks.

There are several of these rock formations along the Yonne River where the water had cut through the surrounding limestone. In this case there is a short path that takes you around the base, up to the top of the rocks and back down to the parking area. It only took a half hour to walk it.

Part of the Grand Falaise (faiaise is cliff in French).

We like this caution sign at the top.

After a quick stop at the boulangerie in Surgy for our daily bread, we headed back to the boat, setting off back down the canal for our next stop, Lucy-sur-Yonne. We had heard rumors of a fete in the village on the weekend and we didn’t want to miss it.

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