Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Continuing South, June 2-9

 Our next destination was the city of Macon. We had visited briefly when picking up and dropping off the car in 2011 and not been overly impressed with the place. It seemed a little drab and quiet for a city of its size. Our guide book says that despite being over 2000 years old, much of the city was destroyed during the religious wars so it lacks the visible history of so many other French towns. Its still not our favorite place but they are sprucing up the center of town and there is hope. 

When we  arrived early Thursday afternoon we had intended to moor opposite the city center on a pontoon in front of a restaurant, but when we arrived it was full. Mostly it was full of Lennie and Di Greives nearly 20 meter Piper, Elysium (plus a hireboat). We had had great fun with them in Briare last summer and they had spent the winter in Paris. Sadly, they were not aboard so we headed over to the city front moorings only to find them surrounded by pavilions for the upcoming H2O F1 speedboat craziness over the weekend. We called Di and they graciously allowed us to moor alongside for the night. They would be leaving in the morning.

As a thank you, we invited them over for an aperitif and, as things go, it turned into dinner and a little too much wine consumed while the rain beat down on our patio umbrella. (It did keep us dry, though.)

They left in the morning, we tied up to the pontoon and then did some touring in the city.

The Macon waterfront and the Saint Laurent bridge.

La Maison du Bois, built around 1500.

We got a kick out of this display in the window of a burger place.

That translates as “Your future frites (french fries).

The sun sets over Macon with some rain on the horizon.

We had been having an issue with Oldtimers oil pressure being too low and we wanted to address that before we went too much further on the big rivers.

There was a boat repair facility in the Macon marina so late Friday morning we traveled about 3 k back up the river to their yard. After some consultation, their advice was to replace the existing oil with something thicker; there was nothing really wrong with the engine other than being old.

That done and the prospect of hot days to come, we left the marina Saturday morning (it’s in a basin off the river, out of the cooling breezes) and headed for our next stop, Creches-sur-Saone.

The mooring in Creches was another pontoon in front of a restaurant. Our Irish friends Kevin and Eleanor on Milou had passed us while we were in Macon and were waiting to grab our lines when we pulled in. 

Saturday we did a little bike riding around the countryside and got a look at the Chateau Estours, a private residence dating from the 11th century.

Sunday it was lunch at the restaurant after Milou left and the laundry was done. Monday morning we were off for our next stop just 20 k away, Montmerle.

This time the mooring was on a pontoon in front of a huge municipal campground. Normally the campground staff would be collecting the mooring fees. The campground wasn’t active, however, and with a little research, Cathy Jo discovered that the city hadn’t been able to find staff for the facility and wasn’t going to be able to open it this year. The pontoon was still in fine shape and we spent Tuesday and Wednesday nights there. Tuesday we made the hike up the hill to a tower and chapel overlooking town. The tower was built in 1843 but it’s only open to visitors in July and August so we had to be content with the view from its base. 

Thursday we moved a further 20 k downriver to our next stop, Trévoux.

Eleanor says goodbye

but we will meet again.


  1. That evening spent with Len and Diane is sooooo familiar!! There is no such thing as a ‘few drinks’ with those two, it always rocks on (in the best way!)
    Looks like your trip is progressing well.

  2. From Sara and Pete, not anonymous!!


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