After four weeks on a canal boat in Burgundy we can definitely say… we like wine. We really, really, really like wine. We’ve done about 500 Km and 230 locks.
In the process we managed to lose overboard:
- 2 umbrellas
- 1 stake (for securing the boat to the canal bank at night)
- 1 cushion
- 1 sailing glove
- and 1 plastic chair
The water is a hungry monster that must be fed! So far no human sacrifice has been required but…. well…let’s just say we have people visiting us for a reason.
Life on the boat…. is nice. The day starts with a cup of coffee and (usually) a stroll to the local boulangerie for the day’s baguette and something tasty for breakfast. Sometimes we will also get something for lunch if it looks good. Depending on what we’ve told the lock keeper we are usually underway by 9:00. We motor along at 6-8 Km/Hr (a good jogging pace), hitting a lock every 2 Km or so (if varies a lot) enjoying the scenery, which is always interesting.
We usually stop for a picnic lunch at a pretty spot (no choice if the locks are manual). This is when we have our first wine of the day. It’s all downhill from there. In the afternoon we motor for another 3 hours or so. On average we do about 15-20 Km and 5-15 locks a day. Sometime we moor at a town dock (if it’s pretty) or just out of town at a nice spot. We walk into town to check things out. Each town, no matter how small, has a stunning church and a memorial to the local people who died in World War I.
Almost every town also has a tobac and a boulangerie. The little epiceries (grocery stores) are dying out, unfortunately, because of the supermarchés. Sometimes there is a cafe (or two) and a pharmacie (I think the French are hypochondriacs)
Dinner is either something simple (cheese, pate, bread, salad) on the boat or a walk to a local brasserie or cafe.