The day after Tonnerre was a biggie. We were still behind schedule and faced more than 20km up the canal to a small town called Pacy-sur-Armancon. And thirteen locks! Eeek. In practise, this was pretty simple, notwithstanding the lock-keepers having to do double-duty on several locks making waiting times a little long, but by this stage, we’d gotten pretty good at locks and were able to prepare things ahead of their arrival. So we fairly hurtled off down the canal.
Along the way, we passed the town of Tanlay, home to the most magnificent chateau we’ve seen. Sadly, the town was very sad, and most of the places were closed, and the places that were open were desperate for business it seemed. The only thriving places were the bar outside the chateau and the pharmacy. We wandered about in the heat and tootled off.
Up to this point, all the locks were manual, meaning opening and closing were done by levers or wheels and the sluices were opened with a geared winch. The last three locks of the day would be fully automatic, with a lock-keeper pitching up, pressing a button and all the magic would just happen. Not so! Time was getting on, and the 7pm afternoon lock closure was fast approaching when the automatic locks decided to be very very manual. Luckily, our hopeless, but friendly lock-keeper was joined by a few mates, a moustached bear of a man, and a swanky, gold chain wearing chap not keen on getting his hands dirty. A more unlikely trio, you are unlikely to encounter. It seemed the lock-keeper had a dinner date, and buggered off, leaving his tow mates to sort out our non-automatic locks. They did and we journeyed onto Pacy.
However, Pacy is NOT on the canal. We had to moor up in the middle of nowhere along side an empty ploughed field and walking into town and find the only restaurant. Luckily, the boat was equipped with a torch, and we were equipped with enough common sense to take it along with us.
Dinner was snails or salad for starters, followed by Beef Bourgonoine, cheeses (who knew) and dessert and coffee. It was lovely, a real treat in the most unlikely of places.
The trek (let’s call it as it was) back to the boat was great in the freshening evening and we slept in the quietest of places in the world it seemed.
We woke to discover the the weather had indeed freshened and it must have been about five degrees. This is not much fun on a fibre glass boat with all your have is a thin duvet, but soon the sun was up and shining and all was right with the world. By that point, we’d had coffee of course, so little surprise there!!
- Aperture: ƒ/7.1 Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Focal length: 30mm ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/400s