Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Friday, August 31, 2018

We Worship St. Cochon, July 27-30

Just before we left Clamecy, Carmen had told us that there was supposed to be a big fete in Lucy-sur-Yonne for the weekend. We’re always up for a party so, despite the delayed start caused by the morning bike ride, we had just 5k to travel and we were tied up in Lucy by 11:30. Just across the path from the moorings was a huge field of sunflowers with their faces turned to the sun.

We didn’t see any evidence of preparations for a big party but there was a great swimming beach in the park just up the canal so we went for a dip after lunch. When some locals joined us a little later in the day we asked about the party and were assured there would be one, just not until Sunday.
Saturday afternoon we use the opportunity to ride the bikes to Chatel Censoir, just 6 k up the canal. We had overnighted there in 2009 and we got a chance to revisit many of the sites we’d seen then. Plus there was an open boulangerie and a cafe where we could stop for a little liquid refreshment.

When we returned to the boat we started to see some activity in the park, with trailer after trailer piled with tables and benches heading across the bridge from the village, as well as several filled with firewood. Carmen and Louis also turned up to join in the fun. It turned out we were to take part in the Fete du Saint Cochon, the worship of the roasted pig.

Saturday night there was much merryment; singing and chanting in the park as preparations were made for the next day’s feast. Sunday would be a busy day.
Along with the food and entertainment there was a giant vide grenier (literally “empty garage/attic”) as people from all over emptied out their storage places and tried to entice buyers.

But the major event was the pig roast. It turned out they roasted eight pigs for lunch and another 5 for the evening meal.

The makings of the fire.

The tables are set.

Here’s lunch! People come from miles around the last Sunday in July.

With frites, of course!

We used the afternoon break to cycle out to the Chateau Faulin, missing the hunting dog demonstration, complete with horns. The current owners of the estate purchased it in the 1960’s because “they like the old stones.” Their son, who spends significant time in the US,  has established a Museum of the Middle Ages and, as we were the only people there for the 3 o’clock tour, we got the English version.

We headed back over to the fete in the evening but we didn’t need a meal. The bar was a major attraction, however, and while hanging out with Carmen and Louis we met a couple from Australia that were renting a house in the village for a month. They were off in the next couple of days for a month’s stay in southern France before returning to the southern hemisphere. There was a candlelight procession major fireworks show around 10:30 and a dj payed well into the night but after a little dancing, we headed back to the boat. We were just far enough away that the music was not too loud.
Monday morning we dragged ourselves away from the moorings and headed further north on the canal.


  1. A great bit of immersion into French rural life. I have to observe it would be difficult to be a vegetarian in such areas! The museum tour sounds great i’d love to have seen that!

    1. Yes but the fresh vegetables are great, especially whenyou can get them at the local market.
      By the way, our email is the number 2 then chesnuts at gmail dot com. Don't know why we didn't give you a boat card with that on it...

    2. Oops, you probably did and I've been a dumbcluck and forgotten. I'll check my boating cards, but thanks for the address code :)


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