10 August to 13 August 2018. 66 kilometers, 2 locks (bliss!).
Friday 10 August – Lyon to PK35 (near Anse/St Bernard). 34 kilometers, 1 lock, 4 hours (cruising time).
Cruising ‘back’ along previously traveled waters has some ambivalence; on the one hand one has seen all the sights and on the other, one can spend more time examining places which might have been bypassed too quickly.
An eight thirty departure saw us closely followed by a Danish flagged cruiser and then overtaken by an Australian flagged one, both of which had been opposite us in the Lyon port.
|The Courts of Appeal.|
Our plan had been to spend a night at Fontaines-sur-Saône, a night at Neuville-sur-Saone, and then two nights at Trévaux. Arriving at Fontaines we notice that the mooring is at a busy bridge and that the town seems relatively ‘sixties’ with lots of small blocks of flats. And then reference to the DBA guide for Neuville gives us “This is also a hang out at night for various youths, while we had no trouble with them, it was not pleasant. I would avoid this place unless really stuck.” so we move on to Trévaux where we plan to spend at least one night.
On arrival we notice a sign on the gate giving mooring costs – this sign was most definitely not there on our last visit and, at a cost of €15 for our sized boat which includes electricity and water which we do not need, we have lunch and move on a couple of kilometres upstream,
Saturday 11 August - PK35 to Montmerele-sur-Saône. 17 kilometers, 0 locks, 2 hours 20 minutes.
|Leaving PK35 in the distance.|
Another very relaxing cruise,
on the way passing the very pleasant looking Jassans-Riottier port where long time blogger Aurigny is spotted,
|Barge Aurigny on right.|
sees us arrive at the choc-a-block pontoon as the Aussie cruiser from Lyon is departing its very cramped berth; as they were one meter shorter than us we had doubts that we could squeeze in but we also had a backstop – another Australian yacht at the downstream end of the pontoon had said that they would be leaving shortly albeit their space was hardly bigger than the recently vacated one. But we just squeezed in with less than thirty centimeters space fore and aft.
|Pic taken after the boat behind had moved back a meter - after we had tied up.|
Montmerle is an energetic and organised little town
|Town Hall on right.|
|The main road.|
with a free sundowner music show every Saturday evening in July and August
|One Chris Evans doing a two hour Johnny Hallyday routine. The crowd were bopping away!|
|Some of the crowd.|
|Even the Harley mob were there.|
and a small market every Friday and Sunday morning – arriving on a Saturday morning and leaving on a Monday gave us the best of both worlds.
|Lynn in the charcuterie.|
|The endless queue at the boulangerie.|
The small 11th century church, Notre Dame de Montmerle (called The Chapel of Minimes) and adjacent tower are open on Sundays between 16h00 and 19h00 so we offed the bikes, rode/pushed them up the hill, walked the last two hundred meters to the church which was a welcome relief from the heat, then proceeded further up the hill to the door into the tower – locked! So it was back down the incline and, passing through the church, we noticed an ill-lit passage and steps ascending. That’s how you get to the top of the tower but by now we had had enough so it was downhill to the bikes and downhill to the quayside where thankfully a small ice-cream stand had appeared; both the cactus and lemon sorbets were delicious!
Monday 13 August – Montmerle-sur-Saône to St-Romain-des-Iles. 15 kilometers, 1 lock, 1 hour 45 minutes.
We have been troubled with a leaking rubber boot on the cooling system; this goes back to last year but it had become bad and despite my sweatiest efforts the problem would not resolve itself. In Lyon I again stripped all the component parts apart, showered myself in coolant and blood, adjusted both caps at each end of the cooling core, put the whole lot back together again and now, after sixty six kilometres of cruising, we have not had a drop in the bilges! Hallelujah!
The weather report for today was for a storm to hit soon after midnight and then to blow and rain hard until eleven when it would start abating, so we decided that we would leave at eleven. And blow it did, raising me in the middle of the night to check that all was in order – half meter high waves with white-horses! At sunrise there was barely a ripple on the river and although it had rained during the night the decks were almost dry so, with glowering clouds and humid air we set off upstream,
tying up on a small pontoon at St-Romain-des-Iles, right outside the Restaurant du Pont – free mooring if you eat there, ten Euros if you don’t (this includes water and electricity).
|Restaurant behind miniature Lynn.|
So we had lunch there. Grenouilles Fraiche de Crème pour madame, de Persillee pour moi (fresh frogs [not frogs legs, whole frogs] – absolutely superb! The gentleman and lady at the table next to us are from Lyon and they drive the fifty or so kilometres to the restaurant once a week to enjoy its offerings and Monsieur is adamant that the frogs here are the best in the region if not in the whole of France). And, most unusually for a Monday, the large restaurant was packed – we had booked on arrival at the port – and most patrons were enjoying either fresh frog or fresh whitebait, another house specialty.
|Pretty garden outside the restaurant.|
|There are some who say that this looks disgusting but we don't comment on their|
preference for guinea pig, bat, dog, snake or scorpion fish, do we?
These other options worldwide might be yummy too!
PS: Can anyone give us a compelling reason to stop off and visit Mâcon – all research says that there is just about nothing of much interest there?