It’s so relaxed here, and with no rush to get back we gonna stop here for a couple of days. I got on with some minor repairs, fix some poppers that have had their terminal pop on the back door canvass cover, etc. We were going to repair the canvas for the cockpit, the seams have stretched and need waterproofing, but Vee thinks it’ll be a lot easier if we have a park or picnic bench to work on, instead, while Vanessa hems some of the curtains, I pick sloes for sloe gin.
An easy ten klick, eight lock trip along to Plombières-les-Dijon, the lockie knew what he was about and took us all the way. There is a huge park with a lake in Dijon, expectation being that it would be very similar to Auxerre and we can moor up and spend a few daze chilling before heading across the plains and home. The reality we found with a cycle reconnaissance ride is that the canal here is too shallow for mooring alongside the park and chock full of weeds. Also, from our six klick recon along the canal, we decide that Dijon is too big, noisy, smelly and has more than a passing resemblance to a shithole for two people that have been in rural France for the last three months. We don’t want to go back yet, but we also don’t want to stay away for the sake of it, so we went for a beer and a conflab. We asked for Leffe and got Jupiler, (yuk), and the waitress short changed us, so we decided then and there to go straight through Dijon tomorrow and head for home.
1204.8 engine hours.
191.4 trip hours.
3.1 hours today.
8 locks 10 km.
Total 360 locks 645 km.
pk 207 Plombières-les-Dijon on the Canal de Bourgogne.
We’d been told by various cruisers along our way that Dijon is currently a nightmare for weed, being the only way home for us, (without turning around and going back the way we came), we have to go through with the expectation that whatever work is being done will be finished by the time we pass through. Oh poor naive children. I’m not talking weed happily growing on the bottom of the canal, it may have been but whatever work was (half) done means that that weed is now on the surface, so much that lock gates are hard to close, which is a problem, cause water. Not so far back the locks had rakes that they use to clear flotsam out of the water, not here where it is really needed. I know that being close to a city means stuff needs to be locked up, but at one lock the lockies asked me if I had a rake onboard (?¿!), we used some boathooks instead. At one lock, which just so happened to be right outside a VNF depot, where they store all their toys, we had to wait quite a while for them to clear away so the gates would close. To avoid any propeller damage I was jumping off the boat as soon as I could and pulling Adventurer into the lock, then pulling her out via boathook on escape ladders and lock gates until we are out of the weed before spinning the prop. Nightmare! The fact that this stuff is allowed to build up RIGHT OUTSIDE THE VNF DEPOT speaks volumes of a company that wants the money, but doesn’t want to work for it. Ooh love/hate relationship with the VNF.
We moored, I cycled several klicks for some much needed supplies and some chicken for a much needed jalfrezi. (See, I did that without mentioning how expensive the chicken was)!
1209.9 engine hours.
196.5 trip hours.
5.1 hours today.
12 locks 13 km.
Total 372 locks 658 km.
pk 220 Ouges on the Canal de Bourgogne.
Yesterday we cleared through Dijon, we didn’t play tourist, which is unfortunate but hey ho, I was more upset at not going back to that bar. Now we’re on the plains, the canal betwixt Dijon and St-Jean is a twenty five klick straight line (near enough) of flat land, even the map book says it’s boring, the only thing to say is that thankfully, we left the weed behind, (I don’t think I’ve ever spoken so disparagingly of “weed” before). Because there’s not much to see or do in this stretch, it was always going to be our calm down bit before home.
1212.7 engine hours.
199.3 trip hours.
2.8 hours today.
7 locks 7 km.
Total 379 locks 665 km.
pk 227 lock 68 just north of Longecourt on the Canal de Bourgogne.
Last day. I don’t really know what to say, unfortunately I’m writing this four days later, there was just so much to do on returning. Anticlimax? For you and me both, nah, it was a great last days cruise, no lockie shenanigans, in fact we had the same brilliant lady from yesterday, she took us nigh on all the way from Dijon to St-Jean. We decided not to go all the way in to St-Jean, instead we have moored a klick out where it’s quiet, there’re very little passers by, the kids can finally (after forty eight hours stationary) come and go as they please with the cat flap now unlocked.
That’s it, I am out of words, I’ll be writing something in a week or so time, summary or summery, I don’t know. There is one more thing to say….
IT’S BEEN AWESOME!
1215.9 engine hours.
202.5 trip hours.
3.2 hours today.
7 locks 13 km.
Total 386 locks 678 km.
pk 240 just north of St-Usage on the Canal de Bourgogne.
All Stop! Thank you for reading.