We spent two days coming down the side canal to Roanne (Canal de Roanne à Digoin) in blistering heat. Not many cruisers take this canal as there are no big chateaux or major sites but it is a nice cruise through a pretty rural area of Bourgogne. It is also the farthest south we will go this summer.
There are only 10 locks over 55 km but some are the deepest in the country’s canal system. The deepest is 7 meters (22 feet) and there are no floating bollards (the things you tie your boat to) so the lock keeper has to lower a big hook on a long line on which you place your mooring line. He pulls it up and puts it around a fixed bollard on the side of the lock. Then you wait.
I hopped out and helped the lock keepers a few times, which is always appreciated. Even more appreciated is the cold beer I would hand them. Just doing our part for international relations.
Roanne is nice little city with the requisite allotment of impressive churches (that no one seems to go to), a nice pedestrian shopping area (which Roberta checked out, several times) and an indoor market with regional foods. They have the best produce here. I am eating a funny looking flat peach that is, seriously, the best peach I have ever eaten.
We took a “rest” day here – that means laundry, shopping and cleaning. The first day we walked to a little mall and were able to buy the last two small fans (AC powered so we can only use them in marinas) and two battery powered fans.
Tomorrow we head back north with promise of cooler weather!