Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

St. Dizier to Mareuil-sur-Ay, July 26 to 29

We were really lucky we found the shade. Wednesday and Thursday were very hot, well over 100º F. We mostly sat around reading while the “big gun”, our big fan, roared away. The only problem is that when its that hot, it’s blowing hot air, not much relief. Luckily it cooled down some at night. We still needed the small fan but we were able to sleep. The jets quit around 5pm, too.
Since the locks start operating at 7 am and we wanted to get moving, we left our mooring Friday morning at the ungodly hour of 8 am. We weren’t planning on going far as it was still going to be in the mid 90's; just a few hours and then find another shady spot. Right around noon we came upon a couple of bollards and a picnic table sheltered by trees just before a lock. We got out our lines and took our lunch to the table.

A couple of hours later we noticed a familiar looking luxemotor approaching the lock. A quick look though the binoculars confirmed that it was David and Evey on L’Escapade. (You’ll find David’s blog linked to the right.) We met them our first year with Oldtimer but they’ve been down south for the last couple of years. We knew they were heading up the Champagne et Bourgogne to winter in Amsterdam but weren’t aware they were so close. There was a minor malfunction with the lock so were had a chance to have a brief chat but since there were no bars or restaurants close by our mooring, when the lock was fixed, they pushed off. ( ;-) Those of you who have read David’s blog will know what I’m talking about!)

Off they go!

Saturday morning we left at our usual hour in a light rain (and much cooler!) with a couple of objectives.
The Champagne et Bourgogne ends where the Canal latéral á la Marne begins at the town of Vitry-le-Francois. We stayed in Vitry two years ago to pick up Cathy Jo’s father but weren’t particularly impressed. The marina is very small and there was really only one spot that would fit us. Plus it was expensive and far from the center of town. Just outside of town, however, was a one boat mooring with easy access to a big shopping area. Just before 11 am we tied up, made a quick trip to the supermarket and then had lunch. By 1 we were underway for our second objective.
Back in 2017 we stopped in La Chausée-sur-Marne so we could visit the very picturesque village of St-Amand-sur-Fion and it’s church. On the way to the village we stumbled across the champagne house of Bertrand-Lapie. The madame climbed off her riding mower long enough to let us taste a couple of their offerings and we loved them, purchasing a couple of bottles. We wanted to get back there if we were tied up on time.
About 3:30 we were moored, threw off the bicycles and headed off up the road. Neither the madame and or monsieur were there but an employee was only too happy to pour us a sample. We went back to the boat with some very fine (and reasonable priced!) champagne.
Sunday morning we were off, passing through Châlons-en-Champagne to Condé-sur-Marne with it’s very loud and insistent bells. From 6 am until 10 at night they ring every 15 minutes. We usually love the church bells but these were a little much.
Monday we were truly in champaign territory, traveling just a couple of hours and grabbing a mooring in Mareuil-sur-Ay. 

Vintage 2019 ripening as we watch!


  1. Indeed I do know what you mean. David must be in huge rush, there are almost no references in his FB posts about restaurants. Central France is in mourning.

    1. Hahaha! We don’t do Facebook so I didn’t realize the impact.

  2. Did you meet Philip Davis in Mareuil-sur-Ay? He’s been there a while. A lovely friend of ours and a great character!
    The Champagne region sounds like a place to linger :)

  3. Sadly, no. And linger we were not able to do. With the threatened closure of the Loing and Briare Canals we had to move right along. We've been here once before and I'm sure we'll be back!

  4. Hey there. Where are you now? August 29?? Curious. Hope all is well. I'm behind on our blog. So hard to find wifi and any energy after a long day on the Camino. Blessings to you both! Kristine & Mike


All of a sudden I'm getting comment spam. I'll have to use Captcha until it gets under control. Sorry...