Last night it poured down lasting well into the morning. After 6 weeks of heat and hardly a drop of rain it was quite refreshing. 

We left when the downpour dwindled to a drizzle. Finally I could christen the yellow oil jacket I had bought in Paris.

We slalomed along the canal which snaked around pastoral hills and pine tree levies in tight bends.

Approaching Montceau-les-Mines tall shaft towers and former slag heaps leave no doubt about the towns past.

Coal mining ceased here after WWII. The rest of the township looks modern and bright.

Three very low movable bridges are being operated by a controller allowing boats to enter the port. 


The port adjoins a busy bar/ restaurant and shopping area. Pontoons with security gates provide electricity and water. Clean showers and toilets are located in the port's office building.

We found a mooring right next to the "Malaga" of Annie and Barry from NZ who had invited us to celebrate Barry's birthday with them and their American friends, Bonnie and David.

It was a lovely night starting with drinks on the Malaga and finishing with birthday cake and some clean - some not so clean jokes.

 "The biggest fair of the region"  on the other side of the port overrides any other noises with fairground music and shrieks late into the night.


We woke up to a cool and grey Sunday morning and felt we needed a fresh baguette for our Sunday breakfast, so that prompted our morning walk.


After a lazy morning we cycled along the canal and finally managed to photograph one of those strange looking herons. They tend to sit along the sides of the canals waiting for a catch but always fly off as a boat approaches.  

On our return we locked our bikes to a tree right next to a police van and explored the fairground.


Everything looked and sounded much like on an Australian fair, except of the favourite treat here, called "churros".

They are a spanish version of our donuts,but are long sticks instead of round and sprinkled with sugar. (Please note that Austin is wearing the blue-striped shirt today - the red-white one is in the wash!)


I nearly caught the gambling bug. Dropping coins into slots at one of those fairground booths. A 200 euro note was sooo close to being mine and then again - not!

We relaxed instead on the Ferris wheel so Austin could take another photo of his boat from the "air". He only has about 30 photos of the Freshwater from every angle!

Tonight we are set to see the 1980s movie "Café Baghdad" which was recommended to us last night by Bonnie and David.

© Austin Robinson 2019