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!