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Life on the canals in France is somewhat slower than I thought. And here, near the top of the Canal de Bourgogne, it is also more isolated – we’ve had no internet access on any of our phones, or the barge’s wifi system, for several days. This afternoon we reached Pont-Royal, a lovely little port, where we have a mooring (on which we’ll still be afloat in the morning), electricity, water, rubbish, wifi, and morning bread delivery, for the princely sum of 8 euros! Try to find that (about $12AU) anywhere in Oz!

We had a lay-day in Venarey on Monday while the weather was ordinary; cool and showery. After that, the trip to the very top – at Pouilly-en-Auxois – looks like it should take two days, but that can’t be done; it will take four. Tuesday got us through 13 locks in about 5km, to Pouillenay; Wednesday got us through 19 locks in about the same distance, and today we reached Pont-Royal after 13 locks and about 13km.

Carmel the eclusier

Carmel has been training to become an eclusier, walking between locks, opening gates, and taking our lines. She says she needs the exercise!

Along the way the villages have been small, and there’s been no tourist sites, so we’ve just been enjoying the scenery, and nature, and whatever. Here’s a sample from the last few days …

Traditional Dutch sailing barge

A traditional Dutch sailing barge we encountered at our stop at Pouillenay – they were heading downstream, we upstream. It had an interesting crew – a Brit (owner), an American, and a Dutchman.

Ducks on escape ladder

At intervals along the canals are these sloping structures; they are escape ladders for animals which might fall into the canal. These ducks have decided that they make a great place to roost.

Trees with mistletoe

Most of the trees along the canal have large green blobs within them; these are parasitic growths like mistletoe, and eventually kill the trees.

Dead trees, killed by mistletoe.

Eventually all the trees will be like these – killed by the mistletoe.

Marigny Church

The entrance to the churchyard in Marigny is framed with purple-foliaged trees.


The centre of town, and all the action, in Marigny-le-Cahouet.

Rue de Cul de Sac

The street sign on this house says “Rue de Cul de Sac”. I wonder where it goes?

Old wagon

Marigny seems to be a much older village than most we’ve seen so far. In this shed at the side of an old stone house I chanced across this old wagon.


I think this rooster must be the famous Chanticleer – he was certainly head of the farmyard full of chooks, geese, ducks, and their young here in Marigny.

House at Marigny

This smart house was just across the canal in Marigny from our mooring spot.

Canal ahead!

Canal ahead! But never mind, there’s a barge full of Aussies parked on the other side to rescue you if you miss the sign – and the posts.

Horse farm near Pont-Royal

A couple of horses at a farm near Pont-Royal.

Maybe I’ll get some photos of Pont-Royal in the morning; not long after we arrived, the rain arrived also, so we’re stuck on the barge until tomorrow. The good news is that our breakfast croissant order is due for delivery at 8AM. Hope the weather is better by then!