As they say in France, “oo lu lu lu, Une problem”. At least that’s what our mechanic says. We had a little leak during a deluge night before last. The driving rain came through a couple of closed but obviously leaky portholes, down the walls and pooled on the floor which is how I discovered our predicament at 5am when I put my feet down on the ground and into an inch of water. Nothing six towels and pulling up the floor covering to dry off can’t fix. Pas de problem.
The weather has been so extreme. Earlier this week we had two intensely hot days of mid 30°s with a hot wind to top it off. Global warming, anyone?
We went to the Friday market and picked up some Munster cheese, Alan’s favourite, and some fruit. It’s a great market, most of it undercover which is just as well with all the wet weather!
On a more positive note we have finally replaced our bikes after the old ones were stolen last year. Very exciting! They were on sale at Decathlon for €169 each which isn’t a bad price for reasonable quality. We were warned against Leclerc’s range which are slightly cheaper but poor quality apparently. One afternoon we went for a lovely bike ride beside the Yonne river to try them out. Very pleased with them. We also purchased three big strong locks! Hopefully that will at least slow down the bike thieves! Everyone seems to have had bikes stolen at some point. I’ve never seen any second hand bike shops so where are all these nicked velos? Sold on eBay? Taken to a cellar somewhere and broken down for parts? It’s a mystery.
Saturday was our first day out on the river. We needed to take Silverfern for a run to check all is working OK including the two new batteries so we headed down to Bailly, 11 kms and seven locks south on the Canal du Nivernais. And all went well. Touch wood!
Bailly supposedly has power but it never seems to be working. The main attraction, other than the tranquil river setting, is the Bailly Wine Cave. I wrote about it the last two visits so you can check those posts out if you’re interested in the history. Of course we had to stock up the wine cellar (and have a little tasting first, bien sûr).
We tried their Pinot Noir Cremant, the Cote d’Auxerre Pinot Noir and the Bailly Lapierre Chablis 2014 and purchased three of each for the wine cellar on board. We also tried the Irancy Pinot 2013 but preferred the Cote d’Auxerre. We had a lovely evening with some Perth based boatees on a Le Boat hire boat. Gorgeous and tranquil evening.
So Bailly is awesome. A beautiful nature setting including, unfortunately, beaucoup de biting bugs which came out in force in the evening. As anyone who knows me or has read my blog will know, I am a magnet to any and all bugs that love to feast on my delicious flesh. I’m trying to put a positive spin on this but I have, at last count, 15 bites, all hot and itchy. My anti-bug cocktail du jour? Antihistamines, vitamin D, Goodbye Sandfly. I was trying the fishermen’s choice (Apaisyl) but they obviously have thicker skins than mine hence the bites. Bane of my French life but c’est la vie. Think I’ll say goodbye to Goodbye Sandfly and hello to Red Eyed Gotcha. Love the name. Hope it helps.
Sunday we headed back to Auxerre and went to the Catalpa Music Festival. We caught the Adrien Marco Trio at a stage in the Abbaye St Germain. Fantastic setting and they were great, sort of Spanish/Gypsy style guitar and double bass. Really enjoyable.
The previous week we saw an amazing Jazz Quartet, Sunny Side Quartet, as part of the Festivale de la Musique. Energetic and highly talented they were the best live music we have seen for a while.
So we have had no problems with the water flow on the Yonne so far and the new batteries are doing their job. Now we just need our spare impellers and our new fenders to arrive and we will be good to go, assuming the weather doesn’t pack in again! It’s was so nice to be back out on the river! Boats are finally starting to move and hopefully we will be off on our travels very soon. No more rain please!