We stayed one night in Pouilly en Auxois – the only boat in the large basin. We shopped and treated ourselves to dinner at a restaurant to recover from the stress of the tunnel!
The passenger day boat that I remember from 5 years ago was still there but it didn’t disturb us at all. Remember passengers calling out to me in 2010 that it was a good day to get my washing dry as I hung out around the pulpit rails.
Onwards on Sunday as we began the descent from the summit. A new experience for us in this boat to go down (avalant) in the locks. In many ways it is easier as the boat is not bounced around by water gushing in, it generally goes down quite gradually. But it can be difficult entering the lock, especially if the wind picks up. We amended our locking strategy and all was fine. The locks this side of the dividing pound are electrified. Although you still have to have an eclusier to operate the lock, it is much faster as he / she is not having to walk up and down the lock to get to each gate.
The eclusiers also seemed to be much more accommodating as regards lunch hour (l’heure du dejeuner). On the Burgundy canal lunchtime is 12 noon til 1pm. Sacrosanct times on the way up – to such an extent that they would not start a lock from around 11.45, and you may have to wait until their return at 1.15 (travelling time!) before continuing! But we were pleasantly surprised that the eclusier worked with us til 12.45 in order to get us through and hand us over to the next eclusier. Certainly helps.
And then we had our first long stretch of canal without a lock – all 11 kms! Wow! Gave me a chance to take the helm and get a bit of practice in. Stayed at tiny place called Pont Royal for the night.
And then the storm came! I always enjoy a good storm when on the boat – you’re so much closer to it all – seeing the lighting all around, hearing the thunder & the rain on the roof. On Piedaleau, with windows all around the salon it was pretty impressive. And it kept on raining all night and most of Monday. So we decided to stay put and catch up on various bits and pieces. I don’t think the eclusier was too unhappy either when we called to cry off this morning