Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Monday, September 24, 2018

Down the Yonne, August 13-17

Our next stop was the town of Villeneuve sur Yonne, about 30 down the river. Since the locks on the Yonne are staffed they close for a lunch but, even with the hour break, we were still moored by 2:45 pm. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to hit the streets just yet. In another of those “it’s not all fun and drinking wine on the canals of France” moments, the toilet had decided to malfunction along the way and so repairs were necessary. It took a couple of hours and several pairs of rubber gloves but things were operational just in time for the evenings aperitif.
Since we didn’t have time to check out the town on our arrival, we decided we’d spend another day to investigate.

The Villeneuve moorings. Where is everybody? Keep reading to find out…

Tuesday morning we visited the tourist office and picked up the town walking tour. 
Surrounded by walls in the Middle Ages with the gates on both sides of town, the portes, toward Sens and one towards Joigny still remain.

The Porte de Joigny

And the Porte du Sens. They’re doing some restoration work on this Porte. You can see how thick the town walls were.

In the picture you can see the poster for the Feu d’Artifice (fireworks) scheduled for that day. Many of the small towns in France have Fete Foraines, fun fairs, for a couple of weeks in the summer. They’re small operations, featuring rides for the kids and a small selection of the usual midway games. Get enough balls in the basket and you get a giant stuffed animal type of games. Often, on the last night, there will be a fireworks display. The French love their fireworks and some of the shows, even in smaller towns, can be quite elaborate. As luck would have it, Villeneuve’s fete foraine was ending Tuesday and, if we stuck around for an extra day, we could see the fireworks. Tuesday was also the Catholic feast of the Assumption and for reasons we don’t understand, always features elaborate fireworks displays. The only complication was that the quay where we were moored would be closed because the fireworks would be launched from right on the other side of the canal. We talked to the lock keeper at the lock just past the moorings and asked it we could stay on the waiting quay for the night and, after consulting with his boss, we were told it was permitted. Just before noon we passed through the lock, moored up and had a front row seat for the evenings festivities. Thus the empty quay in the picture.
Wednesday we were off to Pont sur Yonne, another 29 k down the river. When we pulled into the moorings about 1:30 we discovered yet another fete foraine and Wednesday night would be their fireworks.
In addition to the fete, there was a giant vide grenier, maybe the largest we’ve seen in our years in France. The whole town was taken over.

This is just one of the several streets lined with stalls selling all kinds of stuff.

Is Cathy Jo looking for kid’s clothes? Naaah!

Another fireworks display successfully viewed, Thursday morning we were off to the confluence of the Yonne and Seine Rivers at the town of Montereau fault Yonne. We moored up on a not-very-nice pontoon that was lit up overnight like a Belgian freeway. We were glad to get underway in the morning, headed down the Seine.
We only had 16 k and one lock on the river but were reminded of the large commercial traffic that travels the waterway when this large commercial came up behind us and into the lock. Luckily the locks are very large and there was plenty of room for us both.

But really…Octopussy???

A little before 11 am we were tied up the Mssr. Bouillet’s fuel dock in St. Mammes, lightening our bank account once again. 420 liters at €1.65 a liter. Ouch! Really not that bad, though, remembering we last topped up in St. Jean de Losne at the end of June.
Just after noon we were secure at the moorings in Moret sur Loing, a most picturesque spot. When we left here in a couple of days we would be on waterways we hadn’t traveled before, something of a novelty this year.


  1. Great to catch up with you again, Don and Cathy Jo. I'm immersed in work once more and we've had a blow with our Hennie H. We have some fairly serious engine trouble. How serious, we don't know yet, but it's kept me away from bogland and awake at night. I now need to backtrack and see where you've been since I left you last!

    1. OOOOH! I hate engine stuff. We were refered to a Dutch guy in Briare who is giving our Mr. DAF some love over the winter. Nothing major. We just don't know the last time it was looked over. We'll think positive thoughts...


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