20/7/2013 - 22/7/2013

We are picking up a few tricks from other boats which have their windows covered with white sheets to keep the heat out. Remembering some folded sheets we found when we first came on board, we dug them out and now our boat looks like the dust protected furniture in an abandoned castle. But it works a treat and keeps the interior bearably cool.


In Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses there is no false advertising, as it has exactly 7 deep and long old locks and nothing else!

The locks are impressive however. In 1597 Henry IV was convinced that a canal between the Seine and the Loire would greatly benefit trade and the delivery of merchandise. An engineer Cosnier was commissioned to built the 7 high and deep locks to climb the 24 metres between the rivers. But in the late 1800 new, wider locks with greater space in between were built to allow for larger barges to pass through, and so the 7 ecluses were abandoned.

On our first day in Rogny we passed a barge with a NZ flag - a very common sight as New Zealanders seem to be even stronger represented on these canals than Aussies. We got talking to the owners, Aileen and Graham from Snells Beach, north of Aukland, remembering the beautiful beach and Vineyard where we had attended our friend's Christiane and John Baumann daughters wedding a few years ago. 


 We decided to share a taxi and visit the from the waterway guide suggested "Château des Pêcheurs" in the near-by village of La Bussière the following morning. Sitting in the air-conditioned cab with Aileen and Grahame, we were very glad indeed that we had chosen not to cycle there as the 10km distance seemed to be some what underestimated and there was still no relief from the heat in sight! 


Again - no false advertising! As the castle's name "Castle of the Fishermen" suggests, the rooms were full of anything to do with fishing. From collages made from fishing hooks and flies, to old fishing rods, fish fossils, porcelain fish decorating platters, drawn menu sheets with pictures of various fish dishes a.s.o. After a stroll through the Potage Garden and park of the castle, the cool sub-terrain servants quarters and kitchen were very welcome. See Austin posing as my dumb waiter next to the "dumb waiter".


Returning from our 'fishy' excursion, Aileen and Grahame, who were such great company, set off towards the Seine while we continued climb the six new locks to the watershed of the Canal de Briare, before starting our descent to Ouzouer-sur-Trézée towards the Loire river.

© Austin Robinson 2019