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Water flowing underground
same as it ever was
Cruising log retrospective 
16th-Jul-2010 07:22 pm
cruising log
2010 was not one of the good years aboard our narrowboat in France. So many equipment failures, mossie and midge bites, and weather too hot for comfort. But there were good times. Some of them were captured on film.

Click through each picture for lager versions. Keep clicking to enlarge each pic - should open in a new window.

Travelling by boat, one sees parts of France that would be missed if travelling by car or train.

The mooring at Conde is right alongside a working silo whose product is still transported by barge.

Travelling along the canal to Epernay, we had to negotiate a swing bridge in one of the smaller villages. You can see the bridge closing behind us and the line of traffic on both sides waiting to cross the canal.

Cruising towards ~Reims, one has to pass through the tunnel 'Billy le Grand'. This photo shows our friend's narrowboat behind ours just as we've entered the tunnel.

The chateau beside the morring at Mareuil sur Aye, near Epernay.

The vinyards come right down to the edge of the town and the canal at Mareuil sur Aye.

Most of the lock houses are no longer occupied and the 'gardens' alongside the lock chamber are neglected. The one at Marailly sur Aye is lovingly tended and was a riot of wildflowers and cherry trees. When we were heading back to our home mooring, the lights on the Mareuil lock were stuck on red even though the lock was ready and open for us. I was put ashore and pressed the phone button on the lockside to call for assistance from the itinerant VNF lock keeper. The phone had been left on 'fax' mode. At about 2pm, the itinerant keeper emerged from the cotaage (no longer a lock keeper's residence) and put us through the lock. He offered me some cherries from the trees and some advice ''use the phone when having problems in future'. He was most grateful when I told him that the phone was set to fax and used his mobile phone to alert the control centre.

Repetition of Wild Photos entry - feel free to pass if you've already viewed the photos there.
16th-Jul-2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
I've commented on the lovely pics over on Wild_photos but I was reading your tweets as you cruised and it didn't sound like a good trip. I'm so glad there were nice times and lovely scenery too!
16th-Jul-2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
It started badly and went downhill from there. That'll teach The Boy to check his boat maintenance (and equipment handbooks and spares) more carefully in future.

I think part of the problem is that we're 10 years older (as is the boat) than when we first started cruising in France and yet we expect to be able to cope with adverse conditions and difficulties with the same ease as we did then.
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