4 May to 9 May 2018.
After the normal Emirates flights which seemed to take forever and which were only different in that our pilot decided to do a last minute landing abort on the approach to Dubai because “…flight control was bringing us in too close to another aircraft…”, and which seemed interminable for some or other reason, we landed in Paris.
A quick transit through immigration and customs found us on the pavement trying to message our Blablacar driver; eventually we receive an sms – “I can be there at 17h30”. Fantastic! We will get to Auxerre earlier rather than later. But he eventually arrived at ten past six and had somehow procured a seven seater mini-bus (‘mini’ being the operative word) as he had planned to pick up his sister and another fare in the middle of the city so we sat in a traffic jam and collected them over an hour late at half past seven. If he had told us that the Metro trains were not affected by the strike then we could have met him in the city very close to where he met his sister and the other fare and we would probably have missed the A6 accident.
And the vehicle broke down four kilometres outside Auxerre due to a low oil pressure cutout; fortunately he was carrying spare oil so it did not take long for us to be on our way again but the upshot was that we only arrived at our hotel at half past ten but did we sleep well that night!
The next morning I dash down to Elle at first light to start the de-winterising process only to find her rafted up against another boat which had a huge canvas cover over her which completely obliterated Elle from sight – great for security but making boarding impossible. Grumbles indeed.
Nine ‘o clock we make contact with the Aquarelle staff and eventually Elle is towed to an open berth behind the covered boat and then we are at it like feverish beavers until, forty eight hours later, with hearts in mouths, it is time to fire up the engines. And they purr into life without missing a beat – as the saying goes, “Don’t you just love the smell of diesel in the morning?”!
|Lynn making use of the plastic sewing machine.|
|Our first lunch aboard.|
With access to the upstream Bailly caves and winery blocked by an issue with the barrage at Vaux we are forced to head north immediately but a great surprise is that Ian and Sian aboard Njord are heading toward us at speed and we will meet then in a couple of days in Joigny and then cruise to Paris together.