Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Friday, September 3, 2021

A Couple Days on the Lateral, Aug, 17-19

 The Carrefour supermarket at the end of the Nivernais in Decize has provided a most useful resource. There is a mooring right behind the store so you can bring your shopping cart right to the boat. That’s a good thing as the Nivernais is notorious for lack of major grocery shopping and our supplies were running low.

We cleared the lock before the supermarket right before the noon lunch closure and after lunch spent some time hunting and gathering at the Carrefour and the nearby Lidl. At 3 o’clock we cleared the last lock on the Nivernais and crossed the Loire to the Loire lateral canal with one brief stop. At the mooring on the river in Decize we spotted one of our neighbors from Briare, Lenny and Di on Elysium. They were actually on their roundabout way to Paris via the Marne for their winter moorings but had blown a fuse on their generator and stopped at the nearby hardware store to get one. Of course, the store didn’t have the fuse they needed but, luckily, we did. Problem solved and after a brief chat, off we went through the two locks at the Decize marina and onto the Canal Lateral a la Loire.

This typical old Loire boat entered the last Nivernais lock as we left it.

They seemed to be having fun.

Wednesday morning it was 25 k and 5 locks to the mooring we’ve used at Chevenon before. This time, however, it wasn’t raining so we were able to take a walk around the town. There is a chateau but it is not open to the public and surrounded by tall trees so we really couldn’t get a good look. We did spot some fantastic lawn art, though.

And this cow peeking over the hedgerow made us laugh.

The hairstyle reminded us of a singer we know. We called him “Lyle Cow.”

Chevenon is 3.5 k into a 20 k stretch of canal between locks so we had 17 k to cover on Thursday morning before we would reach the double locks at Guétin. We intended to stop in the basin right after the locks for a day so we could visit Apremont-sur-Allier, one of “The Most Beautiful Villages in France.” Friday was supposed to be the best weather day of the week. It would be a good day for a bike ride.

We made it to the locks right before lunch and were tied up right after noon.

The mooring at Guétin. When boats are coming through the locks

the walkways are choked with spectators, or as the Brits call them, “gongoozlers.”

Later in the day there would be several more hireboats from the nearby Nicols base.

After lunch we took a walk out to the Bek d’Allier, a large nature preserve where the Allier River meets the Loire. There is a marker there for Kilometer Zero of the Loire à Vélo cycle route. We stopped in at a cafe on our way back to the boat. It was a warm day and we needed a little liquid refreshment. It also gave us our first opportunity to use our French health pass. The QR code worked just like it should and the beer was just what the day called for.

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