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

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Montbard to Brienon -sur-Arnacon

Hello again

After the heatwave when we were in Montbard the temperatures have been much more bearable, with highs not exceeding 32'C and most days having reasonably strong breezes to make it quite pleasant.

The scenery along this stretch of canal is very different to what we've seen up to now. The wooded hill sides have been replaced by huge open fields of maize, wheat and sunflowers

The harvest is in full swing and tiny bits of chaff cover the solar panels and the surface of the canal every day. We haven't travelled very far, preferring to stay in some places for a couple of days and going off exploring on the bikes.

We stopped at Ancy-le-Franc and visited the chateau

A couple of days later we arrived in Tanlay to find out that there was a firework display due at 10.30pm that night. It was a lovely evening so we sat out and waited, and waited and waited. And it true French fashion it started late at 11.30pm. It was worth waiting for, although Chico wasn't too impressed. His hearing seems to have come back a bit since he had his back teeth out which is a bit weird. He can't hear much but the loud bangs did get his attention.

The next morning we moved on to the next town which was Tonnerre as we'd seen a poster advertising an "apero concert and fireworks" to be held at the capitainerie. The port itself was very weedy and for the first time ever the weed made manoeuvring the boat difficult and we struggled to get alongside the quay. We got talking to people from other boats who had raw water cooled engines who were having big problems with the weed clogging up their pipes. After we'd moored up the water cleared and there were hundreds of fish swimming in the weed. We both spent a happy hour feeding the catfish bits of bread. It was like having our own personal aquarium 😀

The concert was advertised as starting at 5.30 and at 3pm half a dozen vans suddenly arrived and set up tables and chairs, refreshment tents and a small performance area. It was all up and running within 2 hours, everyone being well organised and having obviously done it before....very "un-French" 😉  We enjoyed a very pleasant evening and the fireworks started on time and were spectacular as always. One thing I have to say about the French.....they put on some excellent displays.

The weed continued to be a problem and a couple of locks were full of the stuff.

One night we stopped on a new stone quay just outside the village of Flagny la Chapelle. The village itself was nothing to write home about but we did manage to find a small grocery store and a decent bakery. When we got back from our bike ride we realised that there was a dog kennels just across the canal from the mooring. As it got darker the dogs barks got louder and louder and then turned to howls. It continued all night and I didn't get much sleep.  It sounded like werewolves howling at the moon!

The next mooring was in St Florentin, opposite the port de plaisance.  We didn't expect to have to pay as we needed neither water nor electric, but the capitain came round to collect 11 euros from us. Most places only charge for the services if you use them but as we had to pay whether we used them or not I made the most of it and did several loads of washing.  When we arrived here in Brienon we checked out the cost of the moorings but as they wanted 25 euros a night from us we decided to wild moor instead. We're on the opposite side of the canal but that only means another couple of hundred yards to walk to the village and has saved us 75 euros as we've stayed 3 nights.  On Friday we went out for lunch but it was the worst meal we have ever had anywhere (and we both had different dishes)!  If my french had been a bit better I'd have complained bitterly. So if you're ever coming to Brienon-sur-Arnacon don't eat at the Auberge de la Poterne. We've since found out that it's recently changed proprietor so maybe that explains it.

So now it's 14th July "la Fete Nationale" formerly known as Bastille Day and they're setting up another fireworks display just along the canal from our mooring and opposite the hire boat base. All the hire boats that haven't been rented out have been moved out of harms way just in case a firework goes astray in the wind. Hopefully this will be yet another spectacular display and tonight I'll be playing loud music indoors for Chico while we sit out on the back deck watching.

That's all for now, see you back here again soon X

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