It’s that time of year, folks. We have only three more days in France and then homeward bound (to our other home because Silver Fern really does feel like a home now).
Someone said it doesn’t feel like we had been gone for long but since leaving Christchurch in early May we have been to Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic (or should I say Czechia), Cornwall, Devon, Farnham, Paris and Normandy. Then onto the boat we traversed the Yonne River, the Canal de Bourgogne, the Saône river, down to Lyon and up to Auxonne, as well as the Canal Rhône au Rhin/Doub River. It feels like we left NZ a long time ago.
This years boat cruising totals are:
773 kms, 263 locks and 145 engine hours.
On the Canal de Bourgogne alone we traversed 189 locks in 242kms. No wonder I have a sore arm!
So we’ve been pretty busy this year but now it’s time to start the process of winterising Silver Fern before we depart on Saturday. She is staying in the water this year and there is lots to do including eating up any food that won’t keep, hence a big pasta cook up. It’s amazing what you can throw in a pasta dish, even grated Morbier cheese tastes good on top. I cut all the best bits from our herb garden to throw in as well before the rest get binned.
All the sheets and towels need washing and drying before we go.
The Bimini is coming down to be stored in the V berth.
The weather has turned chilly. Overnight temperatures have been dipping as low as 5° and the blustery wind is cold. I’ve been reduced to sleeping in thermals as our cabin is near the waterline and so particularly chilly at night. This is all excellent as we can now look forward to our Southern Hemisphere summer in NZ!
We needed to top up our diesel tank one last time so we had a quick jaunt out onto the river on Tuesday. Although really chilly it was so nice to have one last potter up the river before we tied up onto the fuel pontoon and filled ‘er up.
On Saturday lunchtime we need to get to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and, bizarrely, we will take a train from St Jean de Losne south to Bourg-en-Bresse, change to another south bound train, arriving in Lyon where we board a north bound TGV to CDG airport. There were a few other options but they either required an overnight stop in Dijon with a 7am train departure the next morning or hiring a car. We chose the train so we can relax and watch the world go by in reasonable comfort. The downside is lugging our luggage (so that’s where that word comes from!) on and off three different trains but that’s what husbands are for, right?
Saturday night we’ll stay at the Novotel in the Terminal and board our flight to Singapore at 12pm the next day. 13 hours later we hit Singapore (hopefully not literally) where we have a 13 hour layover so we’ve booked 6 hours at the Ambassador Hotel in the departure lounge for a shower and a lie down before back on board at 7.45pm for our last leg of this rather long journey, 9 hours 45mins to Christchurch arriving at 10.30am Tuesday local time.
Phew. I feel tired just thinking about it! But it’s all worth it and we are really looking forward to seeing the kids and grandkids and catching up with friends.
Here are a few pics from our last few days in St Jean de Losne.
Bisous and Kia Ora