Come with us as we travel round Europe in our floating home

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Bonjour, Ca va?

Last Sunday we encountered our first tunnel.  We'd heard horror stories about it and as we're both a bit claustrophobic we were dreading it.  Ruyaulcourt Tunnel is 4354m long and controlled by traffic lights. When we arrived they were on red and we had a 20 minute wait while this commercial barge came through.

The first 1600m are single file

and then there is 1100m two way section in the middle which is again controlled by traffic lights. We had a red light so moored up for 10 minutes while 2 cruisers came past.

Once we got a green light we did the last single file section and cruised out into the sunshine.  I don't know what we were worried about, it was no problem at all ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

We moored for the night at Au Bois Henry in a lovely basin off the mainline canal. The weather was gorgeous and we sat our till late soaking up the rays and listening to the radio of a fisherman across the other side of the basin.

Just before we set off next morning, a little old man arrived on his scooter selling tomatoes from his garden.  3 euros for 2kg.  They were all different shapes and sizes and nothing like shop bought ones.

The largest was a real handful

and we had half each for lunch in a salad.  They may have looked a bit manky but boy were they delicious!  They tasted how tomatoes used to taste and I'll never buy a bright red "plastic" tomato again.

Our next stop-over was at the Port de Plaisance at Peronne.

We moored on a floating pontoon beside the camp site and for 18 euros a night we had free water (electric was extra) and full use of the camp site facilities, which included a bar, friterie (chip shop) and a small swimming pool.

Of course we used the bar and friterie (well it would have been rude not too) but we gave the pool a miss as it was full of kids.

The local brew was one of the nicest beers I've found yet and the name was pretty good too ๐Ÿ˜‰ (actually Colvert)

We've had a total change of cruising plans which is nothing unusual for us!  We've heard so many stories about how good the Canal de la Somme is that we decided we just don't have enough time to do it justice, so we're going to leave it until next year and plan to come back and stay for a few weeks. Instead, we carried on along the Canal du Nord to Pont l'Eveque and then turned onto the Canal Lateral a l'Oise and then onto the Canal de l'Oise a l'Aisne which is where we are now.

Although it's still a commercial canal, all the locks are operated by a telecommande (remote control)

We got to the first lock and pointed the zapper at the board, the lights went green and the gates opened and in we went. We got roped up and waited for something to happen...... and waited.....and waited. Then after about 5 minutes I noticed this at the very front of the lock.  We haven't seen this type of operation before although I have read about it.  We untied and nudged the boat forward until I could reach the pole which I tried to pull down.....nothing happened. Then we realised you don't pull it down, you push it up!  Success ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

It's a huge leaning curve but we're getting there.  How many more different types of lock operation can there be?

Last night's mooring was at the Halte Nautique at Guny, a few hundred metres from the village which has a small bar and a boulangerie where I bought a baguette and croissants this morning. So far we haven't felt the need to buy bikes as most places we've wanted to go have been well within walking distance, but that may change later on. I haven't been on a bicycle for over 20 years and do not relish the prospect at all!

Tonight's mooring is at another Halte Nautique at Pinon with a Carrefour supermarket adjacent.  It's so close that Roger did a few trips with the Jerry cans to fill up with diesel. Info for all you British boaters paying 70-80p a litre , we thought it was cheap at 1.18 euros a litre!

He's now enjoying a beer "up top" to recover.

Cheers! See you again soon I hope ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

No comments:

Post a Comment