We returned to Montceau-les-Mines to continue down the Canal du Centre to get to the Saone. The weather is beautiful – chilly at night and in the mornings but sunny, bright a nd really quite warm as the day progresses. It makes cruising a pleasure and so we have been able to press on. We stopped over at St Julian sur Dheune and then Santenay.
The moorings at Santenay are basic, but usually full as it is such a pretty village with many wine producers selling directly to the public. We were the only boat there! So we nipped up to the Chateau de Santenay to buy some wine (ready for Christmas) before we left on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately we have decided to take our waistlines back in control and so we did not revisit the restaurant that we went to with Andries and Corrie last year. Shame! But we got the wine!!!
Quite a few of the locks on the Canal Centre are 5m+ deep and have rising bollards which actually makes the operation easier. For those who haven’t seen such things basically you tie up to the bollard and it goes either up or down as the water level rises or falls. Simple – but a couple of times we thought they were not going to budge, which would have been interesting!
Our final stopover on the Canal du Centre was at Fragnes – which was full to bursting – not least because much of the mooring area is out of use awaiting contractors to redo work wrongly specified by the VNF. The lass in the Capitainerie told us that it has been like this since Christmas! I bought more of their postcards which feature Misty Morning!
Then today (30th Sept) we went through the last lock on the Centre – its deep, over 11m – and onto the river Saone. Adrian opened the throttle & we got up to the giddy heights of 10.7kph! We cruised down the Saone to Chalon sur Saone in glorious sunshine. As always I enjoy coming into a city on the river and the sunshine really made it beautiful. We are moored bow into the first line of boats and so have a stunning view from our stern windows.
We are stopping here for a few days before the final leg to Pont de Vaux for our winter mooring.