Lamotte Brebière is a halte nautique which we had spotted in 2019 but hadn’t been able to stop at because it was full at the time. I had noted that there’s a restaurant in the lock keeper’s cottage which is open some days for lunch. It was obviously doing a roaring trade that day. This year the eclusier told me that it had shut down during Covid but it was hoped new people would take it on and a musical opening was to be planned but he couldn’t say when.
10kms and 2 locks. Another lovely stretch which is obviously more river rather than canal and so quite twisty in places. Have to watch the bends particularly where trees obscure your view. We noted that there was much less of the invasive weed in the river sections – usual weed and water lillies instead.
At Lamotte-Brebière there are moorings on both sides of the canal but only one side has water and electricity. There are 4 short pontoons one of which was occupied by a German boat and family. Both men came to help us tie up. And the 2 eclusiers had come down to meet us to make sure we were stopping and to lend a hand. Piedaleau doesn’t like short pontoons much – tries to pivot around them! But how many people does it take to moor one boat! All done in the best possible taste!
We did get moored up safely in the end and settled down to a very peaceful evening, watching some tennis on Adrian’s pad & looking at the view with a light supper and a bottle of wine.
The German boat left early next morning and we decided that Vrouwe Olive would fit very nicely spanning the 2 short pontoons behind us – providing no other boats arrived before them, of course.
Adrian and I went for a long walk in the morning. Along the canal through Blangy-Tronville and the affluent looking village of Glisy, through the marais de Tronville and back to the canal. A lovely walk which took us past the Chateau de Tronville and La Ferme de Tronville – not marked in our book but both were stunning.
We returned to the boat and awaited Chris and Helen’s arrival. They had problems getting through to the Amiens Control and then got forgotten at the second lock. More phone calls for Adrian! They arrived around 3pm and were safely moored up just before a couple of French boats came up through the lock to moor here! Phew! They rafted the 2 boats up against the remaining pontoon partly obscuring the entrance to the lock. They were very keen to know when we would be leaving! As it turned out they left just before we did on Friday. We were heading for Amiens and the hortillonages (local produce) market on Saturday morning.
We took another walk on Thursday around Lamotte Brebière and discovered the old railway station and, beside the lock, the last remaining water trough for the horses that used to pull the barges in times gone by. All very tranquil.
Everyone was listening to, and discussing, the latest news from UK and Boris Johnson’s resignation as leader of the Conservative party and what would happen now re the Prime Ministerial role. The French couple in front of uswere interested to learn more and to find out our views of the situation. They were similarly unhappy with Macron. And indeed the German boaters had also expressed their disappointment with their government. Seems like we’re all in the same unhappy political boat.