Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

At Baye, Aug. 10-13

 Up at the top of the Nivernais Canal is the lake that feeds the summit pounds. It provides all the water to operate the locks until the canal reaches the Yonne River on the north side and the Aron on the south. Separating the canal from the lake is a large dike. (We were here in 2018. I wrote about it here.) There are several mooring points on the wall making it a great stopping place. Also, the weather was finally heating up so swimming in the lake would be a good thing.

A misty morning over the lake.

One day we road the bikes up and over the summit to revisit the Sardy flight, a group of 16 locks in quick succession that takes boats from the end of the three tunnels 4 k down to the Yonne River. The channels between the three tunnels look like a jungle cruise.

Little electric boats on the move heading for the most northern tunnel.

Those electric boats are headed back to a hireboat base originally built by the visionary Pierre-Paul Zivry who, in the mid 1960’s, convinced the local department to take over maintenance of the Nivernais Canal and established a Saint Line Cruisers base, the first of it’s kind on the canals. There are now hireboat bases all over France, keeping canal boating alive. 

There is a salon de thé in one of the old lock keeper cottages at #7 on the Yonne side.

We also biked around the lake and to the nearby town of Bazolles, but the afternoons were reserved for the plage. There are several campgrounds and holiday parks at the lake so the beach can get pretty busy

After three days it was time to begin retracing our “steps” back to Briare. We still had about two weeks left on our one month canal cruising permit so we weren’t in any big hurry. Plus, the weather was going to be warm for another couple of days and we wanted to get back to another of our favorite swimming spots.


  1. Hi, Don and Cathy Jo. Remember us from the Scarpe and the Somme and the lovely meal we had at Long? We have become land lubbers now, having sold Me and 'Er to a Belgian couple in Leopoldsburg. Brexit would have severely curtailed our wandering lifelstyle so we made a bold decision to buy property in Spain and we moved in a year ago this weekend! Our blog is now at Lovely to catch up with you and read about your travels. Richard and Aoife are coming out at the end of September for a long weekend, not seen them for over a year! Another meal out is planned!!

    1. How could we forget your most generous hospitality? The blog is now on our "must read" list.
      One request, though. After that dinner you served us a most delicious digestiv from the some isle in Scotland. Probably because the pour was so generous we've never been able to remember the name but would love to put some on our shelf!


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