Not much to tell about the last two days! 


Leaving Montceau-les-Mines we tied up at a big Leclerc supermarket right next to the canal with its own mooring. This makes it easy to load the shopping straight from the trolley onto the boat. Such an opportunity is very useful to stock up with all the heavy items like bottles and cans.

Just a short cruise from there is a small place called "Blanzy", our next stop. I was keen to visit the local Mining Museum, but by the time we had organised ourselves, we ran out of time. Instead we walked through the town and checked out the opening times for the museum. It seemed to be open every day from 14.00 to 17.00 o'clock. On the way there we saw one of the Nutrias which populate the canals. They look a little bit like Austin's beard with a long tail.

We had a late dinner at the from Jill recommended "Hotel du Centre". Dinner consisted of 4 courses and was quite delicious. Thanks for the tip, Jill, and also for telling us about the Leclerc.


We finally watch the movie "Café Baghdad" after it got too late last night and loved it! 


The weather has further deteriorated. It has poured down all night and almost all day. 

Still we ventured out to the museum at the outskirts of town - only to be told, that it is shut on Tuesdays!

Nothing else to do but returning to our crosswords and books, and Austin getting another French haircut (not bad this time). 



The rain had stopped over night and the sun tried to break through the morning fog. We started to climb the last uphill locks to the summit of the Canal du Centre, counting down from No. 7 Océan to No 1 Océan.


We had been wondering why the locks are called "Océan". The explanation is simple: the water in these locks flows to the Atlantic Ocean. Apparently the 51 locks descending towards the Saône are called "Méditerranée" as the water flows via Saône and Rhône all the way to the Med.

Looking forward to the easier locks we mustn't have paid attention, and so, Jane you will be relieved to know: we also got the back rope snagged and saw our boat tipping. This time in the automatic lock - no lock keeper in sight- we had no option, but to cut the rope, and the boat bounced back to upright. Phew! 


Arriving in Montchanin we realised that the mooring didn't provide water or electricity as written in our waterways guide. A small side arm might have been available to supply these in former years but is now a private port.

While mooring we were hailed by- who else?, but by an Aussie couple:"Good day!" and a New Zealand Boatie.

Riding into town and trying to avoid heavy traffic on the main street by mounting a curb, we had incident No.2. 


See captain Nemo's war wounds! But "being a man" he pedalled on and after not finding anything interesting in town we cycled back. Then we followed a beautiful path around the Étang de Montchanin, a lake supplying the canal with water in dry times.

Back at the boat I prescribed a Gin tonic as analgesic (no lambrusco available, Julie!). 

© Austin Robinson 2019