It started with us being collected and chauffeured to Folkestone by "The Boat Sharers" our good pals The Lewis's, we met up with the other car containing The Yars, as they are still known to us but Lesley and Joe former owners of NB Yarwood, and Sarah and Andy who organised the whole thing.
David and I just packed (I packed ear plugs and my marigolds) and were collected.
The boat was the sort of boat I have scoffed at repeatedly. In fact friends of ours who live on a yacht and have indeed sailed the oceans blue, said it's not a boat, it's a bathroom appliance.
We collected it from Branges, a small town in the Burgundy region, sailed it down that river and onto The mighty Saöne river and northwards to Challon-sur-Saöne, then continuing to Besançon, before going onto another canal whose name escapes me but when I remember it I'll tell you. Before finishing eleven days later in St-Jean-de-Losne.
I think it's probably best if I let the photos do the talking.
|This was shortly before departure, the little man down the engine hole was trying to make it start..... He did after a wee while and we sat patiently in 36C shade.
|The Yars, Lesley and Joe. Sunhats were essential apart from idiots.
|The very first lock and Sharers, Amanda and David were off like rats up a drainpipe. Note lack of a sunhat.
|Truest Darling Angel Love. I won the in the nickname competition, he was instrumental in the ice production line.
|We all had ranks. Sarah was Captain, Vice Captain was coming up the steps and Amanda was joint Head of Galley operations.
|Challon-sur-Saöne, note the beautiful trees.
|I held no rank other than toilet cleaner but had a go at driving which is a bit odd to do.
|If you fancy a holiday afloat here is a hotel boat to consider, no way I'd have a cabin right down there though.
|Quite liking this little number to have for future holidays.
|Our bedrooms were the size of two sofas pushed together with 8 inches of floor space, cosy if you are in love, murder if you've just rowed.
|Very active lock keepers who are friendly smiling and actually help you.
|Any ideas anyone? Lovely blue colour.
|Friends now for 40 years.
|While we waited for the boat to arrive, Amanda and I deadheaded the glorious boxes.
|Now these are a bit of fun. Two Captains here together
|Brilliant skilful Captain Sarah.
|Lesley et moi in rain.... almost pleased to see that rain that morning.
|Sarah and Amanda.
|Action shot of Lesley, locks aren't to be sneezed at.
|This part of France had had a lot of rain prior to our arrival.
|A lot of this went on, wine consumption proved pretty high but that's holidays for you.
|This tunnel doubled up as an art installation with lights and a wall of water which actually did stop when we passed under.
|Quite a bit of this went on.
|Very impressive Besançon river front.
|I do love a bit of modern art.
|This lock slowed them down a bit, a hand winder.
|A fort on the top and the town down below, see those houses? Look carefully for the tunnel underneath them.
|Big Fat WOW!
|and my Darling Joe
|I would have been very twitchy if on guard in THAT.
|The local cow breed.... Charolais. Über pretty.
|This is a working French barge, their owners live onboard at the back, they charge down the rivers at about 70MPH.
|Lock cottages, this one was not lived in but others were. The blue enamelled plate above the door has the name of the lock on, the distance in both directions to the next locks and the name of the canal.
|Amanda went off taking the zapper with her to prep the locks.
I can report that yes we are all still on speaking terms and did come back friends. The Le Boat was tight on space and if it had rained for days I would probably have jumped ship, but the countryside was wonderful and if pressed I would likely go back again.
Normal blog service resumes very soon now.