On Friday 8th July we left Lamotte Brebière to travel a whole 9kms and 1 lock to get to Amiens. We really are pushing ourselves this year – but we are enjoying the relaxed pace, enjoying the views and ‘smelling the coffee’.
The downstream approach to Amiens is delightful. The river is twisty and you pass through an unusual stretch lined with gates and little bridges behind which is a huge wetland area called Les Hortillonages. This photo from the map book shows just how extensive the area is and how it is criss crossed by little channels. (See following post for more on Les Hortillonages.)
The plots are both privately owned but also by market gardeners. Makes for an interesting approach to Amiens, the capital of the Picadie region.
We arrived at the Port d’Amont to find just enough space for us on the end of the pontoon and space along the wall for Vrouwe Olive. Angie and Dave (Solstice), whom we had all spoken to a couple of times as they passed us, were already here and came to help with our lines. We tied up and then waited for Chris and Helen to arrive. They had to make a very slow and careful 180* turn in order to approach the wall behind the Picardie – passenger boat which goes out several times a day. The crew were a little wary of this boat coming in but the Captain walked away unperturbed when he saw Chris’s handling skills.
The mooring is lovely – very central – lots of restaurants, bars and the old town all within easy reach. Much noisier than our last mooring but it is town noise not diggers. Town moorings come with the possibility of problems ie noise late into the night, people / yobs thinking it fun to untie boats etc. We had just such a problem in the early hours of Sunday morning. A group of youths making lots of noise along the pontoon. I was woken up by this and saw 2 guys sitting eating near our boat and then heard another jump down onto the pontoon and walk to the back of our boat. He was trying to untie a rope (would have taken him ages cos we were very well secured) – I rapped on the window and they all ran off. Could hear them on the bridge in front of us ……. and then the cheeky little scrote came all the way back to pick up his take away which he’d left on our cabin roof!!! I took a photo of him which he wasn’t impressed about. We saw a gendarme during the day and got the impression that basically they ain’t bothered. At the weekend these things can happen.
Saturday morning saw us up and at the market. We just love a good french market and this produce one is superb. We didn’t even think about how much we might have spent in the end – all delicious!
Saturday evening was my turn to cook so we invited Angie and Dave to join us and I made the most of the produce purchased – the red fruit salad (rasps, blackcurrants and baby red gooseberries) with farm fresh cream were particularly lovely!
Sunday evening Angie and Dave returned the compliment by inviting us all for ‘apéros’. They asked to use our top deck for this as here is little shade at their end of the pontoon. So another lovely evening with many tales from the boating fraternity.Excellent evening and lovely to meet new, & similarly minded, friends. Angie also writes a blog so we will be following each other!