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

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Le Bec d'Allier and Apremont

Hello again,

We haven't gone very far since leaving Nevers as the weather has been dreadful. It's been 12'C and very wet, quite a shock to the system after the glorious sunshine of the past few weeks.

Yesterday (Wednesday) we arrived at Le GuΓ©tin just before noon and had to wait an hour while the eclusier had his lunch before we could cross the Pont du Canal (aqueduct) which is controlled by traffic lights

and descend the double staircase locks, which we shared with a hire boat. It's 2 locks each 5m deep one straight after the's a long way down!

After mooring up and having our lunch we walked back for a better look. The eclusier must have the patience of a saint, as these 2 huge hire boats didn't have a clue what to do and it took him well over 10 minutes to get them roped up and safe. The crews were much more interested in taking selfies and videos than in passing him their ropes.

We unpacked the new bikes and went exploring. This is the now disused unusual round lock (Ecluse des Lorrains) which used to link the canal to the River Loire and is at the end of a disused branch of the canal

A couple of kilometers further on we came to the very picturesque village of Apremont.

It's famous for it's floral gardens and although the wisteria has now finished blooming there were plenty of other trees in full flower, like this chestnut tree

I thought someone was having a laugh with this sign hanging outside their shop

until we turned the corner of the building and met the said ninjas "guarding" the public toilets πŸ˜€ 

Today we rode to Bec d'Allier which is a small village famous for it's views of the confluence of the rivers Loire and Allier.  This is what it's supposed to look like

but with all the rain we've had recently both rivers are in flood so the view was a bit different!

We'll carry on cruising again tomorrow and I hope to see you again soon.

Bye for now πŸ˜€

Monday, 14 May 2018


Hi, welcome back

We arrived at the port of Nevers last Tuesday, only intending on staying a couple of nights as it's expensive to moor here : 11 euros a night not includig water or electric. We knew Tuesday was a public holiday but didn't realise Thursday was as well and that really skuppered our plans. We wanted to buy new bikes so went to check out a couple of stores on Wednesday, returned to the boat to do some research on Google etc. but then couldn't actually buy anything till Saturday due to staff holidays???  Only in France could this happen, Bank Holidays in UK every shop is open as they really want to take your money. Here?  No chance.

Anyway, we finally managed to buy ourselves a couple of folding electric bikes on Saturday but had to stay till today (Monday) as the bike accessory shop is closed on Sunday.

So this is what we finally decided on......turbo charged for getting up hills and big paniers for stocking up on essentials like beer & wine πŸ˜€

Nevers is a very old city and many of the buidings are 11th or 13th centuary

The Cathedral of Saint Cyr and Saint Julitte is undergoing a thorough restoration, but while the exterior is architectually stunning

they seem to have ruined the interior for me. The stained glass windows have all been replace by extremely modern glass, which does cast great colours and shadows around, but doesn't suit the building at all.......just my opinion

There was a "vintage" festival on over the weekend at the local exhibition centre and we saw lots of these imacculate old cars knocking about in the few days running up to it.

As with most of the French towns we've visited, Nevers is immaculately clean. There were street cleaners everywhere using these "noo noos" (if you've got grandkids you'll understand) 

The weather has taken a dive for the worse and we've gone from 27'C down to 12'C and constant drizzle/torrential rain in a couple of days. I'm sure it won't last and I'll soon be complaining about the heat again soon πŸ˜€

Bye for now, see you soon X

Monday, 7 May 2018

A quick catch-up

Finally!  I have enough signal to upload some photos πŸ˜€

We're still travelling slowly and have stopped at some really nice mooring places. Many moorings are free and are shared with touring camper vans, whose occupants are always fascinated both by the boat and by our life-style. 

It seems to be peak "wisteria" season at the moment and these gorgeous bushes are everywhere.

The scent is overpowering when the sun shines on them

The next two photos are for my readers boating in the UK. We used to regularly come across abandoned or continuously moored boats that had "Section 8" notices on them. Basically, a notice to move or be moved.

Well it's just the same here in France, although I must admit that this is the first one we've come across. The notice tells the owner to move the boat within 6 months or it will be removed and destroyed.

British boaters are also used to the dreadful state of the towpaths and of having to share them with speeding cyclists. Here in France they actively promote cycling along the canals and are installing newtworks of wide tarmaced towpath/cycle tracks that run alongside the canals. This makes it much nicer for boaters and walkers alike as there is plenty of room for the cyclists to pass.

They also provide toilets every 10km or so

and places like this air and repair station

There's just one last photo I'd like to show you........our stoways
This pair of wasps were building a very intricate nest inside the lid of one of our storage lockers.  They were fast workers as the nest hadn't been there 6 hours earlier.  Unfortuntely they had to be evicted and we moved shortly afterwards so they couldn't try and get back in. 

We're currently moored in a very peaceful spot in the middle of nowhere, just outside the next major town of Nevers where we're hoping to stay for a few days and do some sightseeing.

We had intended getting the bikes out and going for  ride, but it's 27'C out so I think we'll wait a couple of hours until it's cooled down a bit.

Bye for now, have fun
See you soon πŸ˜€

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Merrily chugging along

Hello again & welcome back,

After last year's rushed crusing, we decided that this year would be much more leisurely. It's taken us 10 days to travel 64 km and pass through 14 locks and we've stopped off at 6 different mooring places on the Canal Lateral Γ  la Loire.

While the countryside and small villages we've stopped in have been beautiful, the FREE mobile internet signal has been almost non-existent so unfortunately I can't upload any photos........sorry  πŸ˜“

Hopefully it'll improve soon and I can share photos with you again.

Bye for now, take care X