At just about every lock there is a lock house beside it. I have written about the lock houses we see along the way before but it never ceases to amaze me that so many are derelict. We talked to a lock keeper today regarding such a derelict house which had a pretty newly redone roof with some quite ornate local ridge & verge tiles. He told us that the lock houses now belong to ‘the state’ but are rented to VNF employees – they are no longer sold off as the VNF used to do. Only houses with some vehicular access are relet once vacated by retiring employees. So we see many quaint rural properties empty and falling into disrepair. The one in question has been empty 10 years after having been refurbished ready for a new occupant who changed his mind. The roof was redone after a tree fell on it which seems somewhat crazy since it has not been lived in since. This seems particularly sad given that there are many many people & families in need of a home – just as in the UK.
We then came to the lock where the eclusier himself lived for the last 17 years, the whole place looked prosperous and cared for; with extensive wood stacks ready to feed the wood ifred central heating he told us he installed himself. The VNF will only do certain repairs, the rest is up to the tenant. But the eclusier does not know if he will be able to stay in ‘his’ house once he retires, that will depend on whether it is needed for another VNF employee….
In the meantime, I hear that Martin & Jacqui are still stuck at Moret sur Loing.
They have now been there for 3 weeks.
The hotel boat that rescued them has now returned them to the pontoons which are on the river side – navigation is still not open so the VNF will not let them move, but the local Mayor wants them off the town pontoon in order to have the pontoons checked after the flooding!
They can’t stay but they can’t go either!
Having just spoken to Martin I am really concerned for them. Apparently 2 boats have been taken up through the lock into the canal (Canal du Loing) which has also been flooding, but, for whatever reason, the VNF will not allow Martin and the other boat to be taken up. The lock keepers said they would do it but the VNF hierarchy has said no!
With the continuing rain the river level there is rising again and it is expected to rise 30cms today. That will mean the pontoons are under water again, making it difficult to get off & on the boat. They have water but no electricity, have to run the engine each day to recharge the batteries. I would going seriously crazy by now!!!
John and Michelle are still at St Jean de Losne waiting for the Saone to go down.
Friends of Muzz and Gail’s were rescued by a hotel boat when the canal bank (Canal Laterale a la Loire) collapsed near them so that they didn’t get stuck in the mud (literally) for weeks! Imagine coming all the way from New Zealand to get stuck in the mud!
And the weather continues to be awful and then get a bit brighter and then be awful some more. So much for flaming June – not helped by those at home describing glorious sunshine recently!!
Its Friday today – we have just arrived in Gannay sur Loire – I was about to say that this is the first day without rain in I can’t remember when but I just heard thunder rumbling around! Hope Adrian completes his 30 kms bike ride to collect the car before the heavens open!