Woke up and the sun is shining. Holidays are blessings for all sorts of reasons, and this is one of them. The other is sleeping in without having a dog telling you its breakfast time. The drawbridge had to be turned on by the lock keeper as it would not open until 9am. When you are walking it’s important to avoid the clay (messy) and the stinging nettles (itchy). The drawbridge opens and closes extremely slowly! An hour after the drawbridge at Ecluse Gravier is a restaurant. You can order bread the day before and probably get some coffee while you are in the lock. While we were in the lock before the second drawbridge a van wanted to get across and closed it. The rule is if you find it open leave it open, and if it’s closed, close it after you. The van managed to cross, and open the bridge before we got out of the lock. But then a cyclist came along and started lowering the bridge! The lock keeper sped off, hotting, so that they bridge would be open for us! The next wooden drawbridge is shown in the book as being open but it was closed and slow! As I walked to the next drawbridge a dog came up behind me and nudged my calf. He walked with me to the next bridge, accepted a pat and went home. We tied up close to Monceaux-le-Comte and walked 6 minutes into the village for bread. We had a lazy lunch and got under way at 13:15. We left the last lock of our trip at 14:25. There has been so much rain that the lock mechanism was under water! At the penultimate drawbridge Dave had to go far right to drop me off, and then go back for the narrow path through where the drawbridge crosses the canal. The last bridge was open, and led straight to the barge basin. We finished the barge trip 4 days after we begun, and it was truly peaceful and relaxing. We tied up and walked to the train station. There is no ticket machine so we will have to go online to check the schedule. We walked uphill for 2km to Tannay and found a butcher where we bought Provencal sausages and pate. We found an open caves and did a wine tasting of some not very good wines. The supermarket is a further 5 minute walk out of the centre of the village and we got wine there as well as a few odds and ends. We walked back to the barge, stopping at the hotel opposite for an espresso – at €3 it was more expensive than Paris! Wine tonight is another bottle of Bordeaux Supérieur and dessert is tart Normandy.
with love from France
Tandy and Dave