Montbard, Ancy le Franc, Ancy, Tanlay and Tonnerre


We spent three days in Montbard having great facilities and internet, plus, of course, "Café des Amis" with it's great "formule" (lunch menu for 13 Euro a head) and very friendly staff. Got a lovely phone call from Jill and Frank who are now travelling along the Canal du Centre and still living it up, by the sound of things.


Then it really heated up with blue, cloudless skies and temperatures from 30 - 36 degrees. Having a steel boat, we were practically sitting on a Barbecue and are now pretty "bien cuit"(well-done).

The canal in it's last third keeps winding through ever-changing green hills sprinkled with red poppies and blue corn flowers, a feast for the eyes! 

I don't know if it's the heat or the canal's social life, but I am getting increasingly confused about all the French places we pass  and their churches and castles.

In the last three days we sailed from Montbard to Ancy le Franc, from Ancy to Tanlay and finally to Tonnerre.


The castle in Ancy was close enough to the marina to cycle to. Another example of renaissance beauty!

By the time we reached Tanlay we were "castled out" and only managed a coffee at the castle café.

We saw many amazing things on the way: a lock with various paper mache sculptures, donkeys carrying loads for a traveller and - an Aussie w o r k i n g!!!


Arrived in Tonnerre yesterday at lunch-time, having travelled mostly with me holding an umbrella over Austin and myself to escape the burning sunshine, which made Austin feel like the King of China. My feet are now imprinted with the pattern of my sandals making them look rather dirty when I take my shoes off. It was too hot to stay on board, so we welcomed the coolness of the "Hotel Dieu", a church like Hall erected in 1293 by Marguerite de Bourgogne, Countess of Tonnerre and Queen of Sicily and Jerusalem, as a hospital for the poor. 


Fantastic examples of life-like sculptures are found inside and some historic hospital equipment, much like in Manly Hospital.


From here it was only a short walk to the Fosse Dionne, a basin fed by a natural spring 40 km away. Legend says that the pool is bottomless and inhabited by a the Basil Snake. Several divers have lost their lives exploring the origin of the spring. Apparently 341 litres flow into the basin every second. One stumbles across this roman-gallic fosse amidst rows of houses and narrow lane ways, almost being reminded of discovering the Trevi Fountain in Rome for the first time.

Having done some shopping on the way back we settled on deck for a cooling G&T watching black clouds approaching from the South. 

Before we knew it the storm was above us, blowing hard against the boat and bringing with it thunder and lightning. I thought the Australian storms were bad, but this one topped the cake. Brave Captain Nemo risked brain damage by re-securing the loosened mooring stakes and ropes while being pelted by cherry-sized hail and rain that came down in buckets.

I dove inside just in time saving our glasses, the sun umbrella and closing the big windows which were well ajar to bring us relief from the days heat.

It was so dark that I couldn't see if Austin had been knocked down outside or was blown away, but I wasn't going to check! Thankfully he appeared shortly after, totally drenched - but he had "stopped the boat"! Tony Abbot, eat your heart out!

Finally, we did a bit of filming of the view from the boat. It really doesn't give justice to the scenery.

© Austin Robinson 2019