Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Departure Day, July 30

 It was time to go. It was going to be a busy day.

Friday is market day in Briare. Plus we had to visit the butcher and do other chores so we decided we’d leave after the 12-1 pm lunch closure. We would have to clear the three locks on the Briare branch canal to reach the Canal Lateral a la Loire, but from there it’s 17 k to the first lock and we wouldn’t be going that far. We would make our first overnight in one of our favorite haltes, the village of Beaulieu.

You may have read that beginning in early August, France is going to require proof of vaccination for COVID to enter bars, restaurants, cafes and other crowded public spaces. So far our CDC cards and State of California proof had been sufficient (we had to show it to visit Chateau Chaumont). The French have developed an app, Tous AntiCOVID, that will provide a QR code that shows proof of vaccination. Unfortunately, as we are not in the French health system, we were unable to get the QR code, even though we are both fully vaccinated. Luckily, one of our fellow American bargees, Tom Cason on Vivante, had read of a way to get Americans into the system and provided us with instruction, helpfully in French, to take to a pharmacy. They are the ones doing the vaccinations and providing the code. 

The first instruction (in the English part) was to try to visit the pharmacy when it wasn’t busy so they could be convinced to perform this magic. As we walked by after visiting the butcher we saw there was no one in the store so we thought we’d give it a try. No sooner had we handed the instruction to the pharmacist and his assistant, who were scratching their heads trying to figure it out, but three people came in the door. The pharmacist told us to come back in an hour. When we came back, we were handed the two pieces of paper with the QR codes and we were successful in entering the information into the AntiCOVID app. We were now officially fully vaccinated in the eyes of the French health system!

A small hiccup with the timing of the lunch closure on the branch canal delayed our departure but by 1:20 we were off. By about 5 o’clock we were tied up. This years adventure on the water was underway!

Beaulieu. This is from 2016 but it looks exactly the same.


  1. Whoo hoo! Hope the weather gets and stays fine. Enjoy yourselves.

  2. Have fun! So great that you’re on the move again!

  3. Thank you both. We're doing the best we can!


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