Chevroches, Canal du Nivernais

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Homeward Bound

Gare d'eau St Jean de Losne

L'Avenir is now safely (we hope) tucked up for winter at St Jean de Losne. Our last week or so on board was spent in magnificent autumn weather which made packing up and winterising reasonably hassle free but also made us wish we could continue cruising. However, we knew the warmth wouldn't last much longer and the enormous woodpiles outside people's houses gave a clue as to how cold it would become in a few weeks time.
St Jean de Losne is a major base for cruising boats with many people storing their boats there for the winter and we saw quite a few we'd met earlier in the season. Being in a port for a few days was also a good opportunity to chat to other boaters and share experiences and plans.

L'Avenir's winter berth- the port has a webcam which can be remotely operated by boat owners

It always intrigues me that people can travel the same routes visiting much the same places and have such different experiences and opinions of them. Part of the reason might simply be due to the weather at the time but it's not only that. Depending on the size of your boat, you might have had trouble finding suitable moorings for the night. Perhaps you had to clamber up and down ladders in locks. Maybe you arrived in the only village for miles on the baker's day off or, alternatively, were lucky enough to be there for a festival and fireworks. Or, you had an altercation with another boater and he threw a bucket of water over you (this did happen to someone we met but seems so incredible I have to mention it). The permutations are endless.
So, we're travelling similar journeys but in different ways. Most of us began in much the same way though, and that was  by hearing someone's else's story - in a tv programme or a film, a book, an article or even a blog and then saying,
'I'd love to do that!'

Mantoche. One of the prettiest moorings on the Saone. The chateau was once a royal hunting lodge.