Moorings and moments

Barging today is such a fabulous lifestyle. We move on each day, or stay. If we like a place, then we stay. And there are many reasons why we like a hamlet/village/town. It could be the spot where we are moored is lovely, surrounded by shady trees, or neighbouring small farms . Or we stay in a port when we need to hook up to electricity and water (we refill our tanks about every 10 days) Or if there is something to do/see around us…a market, a festival musique, medieval village…
On 30th June, we turned right at Digoin onto the Canal du Centre, its only 114 km long, but took 33 years to build by hand from 1783, completed 1806 – using shovels and wheelbarrows! An aquaduct over the Loire River from Digoin begins the Canal du Centre.

In Paray le-Monial, we witnessed a wedding procession in their Notre Dame Cathedral. Can you imagine getting married in a church like this, with the huge organ playing as you walk down the aisle… (btw – a sedate song played as the bride walked down the aisle – nowhere near as arousing as “here comes the bride”

The children walked in front of her…

The church from the bridge we walk over to get back to the Canal and home on Sojourn.

Peaceful mooring at Genelard where I visit the Demarcation Museum again (visited last year) – I am sure The Nightingale was inspired by the stories in the museum of the resistance fighters – men and women who hid fallen airmen in WW2 and helped them get out of France – men and women often tortured and shot. I stand in awe of such bravery and such horror. Genelard is a village where Northern France was separated from Southern France, then known as Vichy France. Northern France had more industries and animals (needed by the Nazis) The museum is a chilling reminder of times not so long ago – Our peaceful mooring at Genelard belies that this horror took place only 70 years ago…

Dusk at Saint-Julien-sur Dheune (around 10 p.m.)

Lovely mooring next to Silver Birch trees (in the heat wave France is experiencing) we collapse in the shade during the afternoon.

The mooring on a floating pontoon at Montceau-les-mines, once a really wealthy industrial town, and still wealthy

So many special moments come along each day.
Going through lock 10 Med (the locks are numbered from the summit, and either Ocean – flowing towards the Atlantic, or Med – flowing towards the Mediterranean)

I notice the farmyard with the donkey and the sheep, with a beautiful clematis creeping up the side wall.. (poor photo because taken directly into the sun)

I buy a lettuce from an old man whose farm is across the road from the lock.

And for a Euro I get two lettuces freshly cut from his garden….

A black lab meets us at another lock

Entering Montceau-les-Mines..a bustling wealthy town…

interesting experience waiting for the bridge to lift for us.

Rob pumps up our bicycle tyres (which are really flat) – Success! and we go for our first ride of the season.
Aha but I cant resist buying fresh cherries and nectarines from the market which is bustling with people and sellers.

Beautiful French countryside as we ride through farmlands and

Breakfast in a jar along the way –

And who knows what tomorrow brings….

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