We left Montereau Faut Yonne and were out onto the river Seine – a dramatic change – wide river with huge commercial barges plying up and down the waterway. They have absolute priority. No arguing with these ‘bad boys’!
Our first stop was Moret sur Loing (just off the Seine) where Jacqui and Martin got ‘stuck’ for 5 weeks earlier in the season because of the floods. I remember this as a very pretty little medieval town with quaint streets and good ice cream! And a very nice port. Unfortunately the floods caused a lot of damage so that the port isn’t really open for business – no water or electricity and damaged pontoons. However people are stopping there for a night or two being very careful about where and how they moor. Luckily for us we saw Drumsara moored there and Alan and Sharon came out to direct us and help us into a mooring space alongside them. Perfect! Alan demanded a glass of wine in payment which turned into several and then a walk along the river to a cheap and cheerful Turkish restaurant for dinner. Perfect again!!
We saw the 100 year old dutch tjalk that was washed up onto the bankside when the flood waters went down. Jacqui and Martin had told that the french couple on board were asked to move or leave their boat at the height of the floods by both the VNF and the police, but they refused. They said that the boat was all they had, their only home and so wouldnt leave her. So now they are living on board on the bankside and have become a new tourist attraction at Moret sur Loing! They have been quoted 35000 euros to bring in a crane to lift the boat back into the water. Needless to say they haven’t got this kind of money nd so have put out a ‘begging bowl’ asking people to make a contribution to ‘save Johana’. It can’t be comfortable living on board – the boat is at quite an angle – and it can’t be doin the boat structure ny good either.
The next day we headed off onto the Seine together and were lucky with locks as we were linked to a couple of commercials – literally caught onto their coat tails so that locks were opened for both them and us. Drumsara turned off to Samois sur Seine (we had planned to go there fr the jazz festival in June but the flood problems around Briare put pay to that) but we carried on. We stopped one night beside a little private port – couldn’t actually get into it but were able to moor alongside. Always interesting on the Seine because of the wash from the big guys speeding by. Bit like being at sea at times but beautiful.
We met a french guy there who had bought his narrow boat (Dream On) from a welsh guy some years ago. He was ‘interesting’. Went snorkelling in the river, played his synthesizer (at first we thought it was the bagpipes) and fed the pike and the ragondan (coypu) that came to visit his boat in the early evening.
Then onwards again to Port aux Cerises south of Paris. This is where we are overwintering this year so we managed to get a temporary space. It sure is busy here – not like when I came here in 2010. You virtually have to beg a mooring space. But the guys here are being most helpful as we have decided it would be good to bring Lisa & Fred here after we collect them from Euro Disney next week. There is an amazing park here with lots of fun activities so ideal for our mix of family.
Next day we had the fun of finding our way by train to Paris, changing stations and then going back to Auxerre to collect the car. All worked fine and shows that we really are an easy train ride from the centre of Paris. Excellent.
And on our return we discovered that Drumsara had arrived and was moored beside the pump out station! Salubrious or what.
So more drinkies on Drumsara with Winnie and John (Irish friends of Alan and Sharon) and then off to find a local little restaurant for dinner.