We notified the VNF (Voies Navigables de France) office of our intended time of departure for the next morning. This is a requirement when approaching the summit with its locks operated by lock keepers.


We left at nine on the dot. When going through the first lock we could see another boat far back. The distance between our boats increased as the next lock was close to 5m high taking a long time to fill. Waiting for them was not practical as there was no holding pontoon in sight. However, we decided to at least prepare the next lock for them by setting the lowering of the water in motion once we had left the lock. Unfortunately I pressed the wrong button by mistake, so that the lock stayed open behind us awaiting a boat from the opposite direction. I felt really bad. I saw the lock staying open and waiting as we were getting further and further away. Eventually, looking back through our binoculars, I saw the lock closing. Phew!!!


I stilled felt paranoid when we reached lock No. 8. here we sadly had to part with the radio operated lock controller. Two friendly students, holiday-jobbing as lock keepers, accepted our ropes. They said they believed that another boat was coming (we had an idea which boat it might be) and made us wait for 1/2 hour or so, which I thought was just punishment for wrong-button-pushing. The boat never turned up, and the students were told by their boss to send us on our way.

We never saw the boat again!

We found a lovely mooring at Montreux-Château, free except of water or electricity. A large barge at the halte is functioning as a restaurant with outdoor and indoor tables. Its called aptly “La Péniche”, and we decided it would be nice to have dinner there.

Unfortunately the restaurant was totally booked out for the night.

Quel dommage! We had to have pasta with heated up aubergine confit in the galley. It wasn’t too bad actually!


© Austin Robinson 2019