The Kindness of Strangers and Roasting in Roanne…

It has been a while since I have written and lots has happened. However we ran out of Internet a few days ago and had to wait until yesterday to top up our Domino dongle. But now to catch up…

Having left Paray-Le-Monial the raw water light illuminated and we returned and tied up again feeling despondent. However Alan chatted to the Danish couple tying up their yacht behind us and met Jim who knew a bit about boats. He came on board, had a look and figured out we had blown an impeller. Now we needed a replacement so Alan rang Blanquarts, back in St Jean-de-Losne who did have the part, the only one they had. Now we needed to get back there to pick it up. We thought about trains or hiring a car. Then we met Liam, an Irishman on a beautiful barge, also tied up on the quay. He just happened to have a car. And so he kindly drove Alan, in peak hour traffic, all the way to Blanquarts, a round trip of four hours. Once back with the new impeller, Jim stayed another night in Paray just so he could show Alan how to install it. We have met the nicest people over here. It’s true that there is a community feel to the canal, generally people will go out of their way to help in a crisis. We are all in the same boat!

And so off we went again, this time there was no angry lights on the dashboard. Before we left we did check out the market which was excellent, loads fresh fruit and veg, flowers, rotisserie chicken stalls and more cheese, meat and fish than we have seen in a market so far.

We passed through Digoin without stopping and turned left down the Canal de Roanne à Digoin, a hot, hot day. There are a lot of low bridges on this canal, about 57 in total, as we found out when we had to lower our Bimini to pass under them, so in the end we left it down and roasted. (On the way back up we made the effort to put it up and down, and got quite quick at it.) We wild moored after the first two locks and had a lovely quiet evening, albeit quite a hot one.

The next few days we cruised along this canal, which ends at Roanne,  stopping in Chambilly for a two hour break when a large restaurant barge had priority, and stopping in Briennon for a night and Roanne for two. The canal is quite rural, runs beside the Loire, and it’s beautiful.



There was a classic car rally in Briennon and an aerobatics display along the way when we passed an aerodrome. We heard, but didn’t see, a Mirage flying along above the river. Roanne is also a lovely town, plenty to see and we even had an apero (pre dinner wine and snacks) under the trees with three other kiwi boaters.

It has been stiflingly hot. Sorry to talk about the heat when all our family and friends in Christchurch are freezing but we are in the middle of a heatwave. On the deck today the mercury went to the max 50°C. We left Roanne at 9.30 and finally tied up for the night at 5.30. We are again wild mooring about 10 kms from the entry to the Roanne Canal and tomorrow we will be heading on the Canal Lateral a la Loire. The forecast is for temperatures in the high 30s for the next week at least!

Here are a few snaps from the last few days…image image image image image image

About khodges2013

Alan and I divide our time between our apartment in Christchurch, New Zealand, and our 11.5m Dutch Cruiser, Silver Fern, on the canals in France. We started out hiring and eventually bought our boat in 2014. The two summers lifestyle is wonderful and we feel very lucky!
This entry was posted in canal de Roanne a Digoin, French Canal boating, Holiday 2015, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Kindness of Strangers and Roasting in Roanne…

  1. Nikki says:

    Good to hear from you two sis. Wild mooring sounds pretty good. 🙂 Keep cool. X


    • khodges2013 says:

      Thanks Nikki. It’s 8.30am and already the thermometer says its 30°. Any tips on surviving in the heat after your trip camping around Aussie? Bet it was very hot!


  2. Lauren says:

    Hi Karen – how did the Irishman tow his car along the canals? Clever those Irishmen!


    • khodges2013 says:

      It would have been fun to watch but he bunny hopped it 😀 some barges have a space for a little car on board. They need a craney-type thing though to get them on. Be handy.


  3. Kirsten says:

    Great post Kaz – LOVE that bottom picture. Perfection! For some reason your latest update went to spam so this reply is a bit delayed. Had a great time and family birthday in Auckland. Now back in Melbourne and the sun is shining and warmish … though CAN’T imagine the heat you’re talking about over there! Must be no respite from it when you’re on the canals in full sun. Stay cool sistah!


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