In relation to the question from our last blog as to whether it was a Mr or Mrs Mosquito which drew blood from my brother – we have been reliable informed by Charles dad that it was indeed a female. They are searching for isoleucine which is one of the basic building blocks of life called an amino acid. Amino acids are what make up proteins, and female mosquitoes need these proteins to make eggs. We are not just here to entertain you but also to educate!
Saturday 20th June we return to Gray and wonder if we should move on – no we’ll stay another day and invite Debbie and Kevin (Rangali) over for early evening drinks and then we all take a walk into the town as across France around this time of year most towns host a Fete de la Musiquee – well the band is certainly enthusiastic and loud and that’s probably all I can say about that – the funny thing we have found is that at these events there is usually a large dance floor but no one ever dances.
So we don’t stay long and return to Rangali for some bread and cheese and a wee drop more wine. On the way we see a young boy riding a motorised skate board and both Debbie and I cannot resist a little ride – think he thought we were a bit strange!!
Again on Sunday we discuss the possibility of moving but once again decide to stay so we go off for our run/cycle in the afternoon – hadn’t realised how hot it was and I return looking like a beetroot. Charles surpasses himself by dropping our web trotter into the river – oops there goes our internet….that will teach him from trying to balance it on the roof.
We enjoy a Sunday dinner and my Yorkshire puddings are coming on a treat – best ever, its only taken me a year to sort out this cooker. Then we bob over to Peke a hundred year old barge and enjoy a drink with David and Penny – I’m sticking to water for a while. What an interesting couple they are having been boating for over 20 years, 14 of which have been in Holland, Belgium and France. Debbie and Kevin leave Gray on Monday morning and surprise us by going back towards Auxonne – hope they are not trying to avoid us!! We really did intend to move today but instead catch the bus to Besancon to replace our web trotter which unfortunately is no longer on offer at 9 euro so costs us €50 instead but the good thing is there is no hassle and we once again have internet. We are just putting in some conditions of where we can use it in future and it can never again be balanced precariously around the boat. Penny and David join us in the evening as we reciprocate aperitifs. We are heading in the same direction tomorrow and they make a joke about going the same way Rangali went to give us a complex about boaters trying to avoid us.
We see Peke heading north on Monday morning and during our breakfast we decide to stay yet another day – well it not like we have anywhere to get to….. We get the guide books out and decide that we will in fact turn around and travel to Tournus and maybe take a trip along the Seille. Unfortunately we do not have Penny and Davids’ contact details so cannot let them know – so now they are probably thinking we are avoiding them – Oh the politics of boating so if you read this Penny and David it really wasn’t anything personal!!!!
We stop for the night at Mantoche a very small village with a couple of bars and a small grocery type shop. The mooring is beautiful shaded by huge willow trees. We watch in amazement as a young man trims the hanging branches – he has a small tractor with trailer and leaving the engine running he manoeuvers the vehicle by standing next to it and lifting his foot onto the accelerator pedal. Then he climbs into the trailer with a chain saw in his hand and proceeds to cut the branches naturally with the engine still running – no safety equipment but not sure if France has caught up with all our health and safety rules!!! Nice body though so watching him work is a pleasant way to pass the afternoon well for me anyway. We stay two nights and go for a lovely run/cycle along the riverbank.
Suddenly our satellite dish fails to find a satellite which is no real problem as we watch such little TV but its annoying as Charles cannot find the cause.
We spend Thursday in Pontailler-sur-Saone and on the recommendation from Debbie have an enjoyable meal at a little Taverna on the main street. The couple running the place are not the most enthusiastic’s hosts we have come across but the food was good and their wine wasn’t bad either.
On Friday we return to our old haunt of Auxonne, and see Rangali moored up on the public quay – seems we didn’t loose them after all!! We join them for a lovely cup of tea and catch up on our week and learn that their sat dish isn’t working either. Kevin rings his installer and learns that someone moved the astra satellite without the decency of telling us – this apparently means the transponder frequency has been changed (complete gobble de gook to me) and so everything Charles tried to do to rectify the problem was totally ineffective as it was looking for something that didn’t exist any more.
Debbie and Kevin join us in the evening for a bbq and we have a lovely evening although we do think they are a bad influence on us in relation to consumption of alcohol – ha ha only joking as anyone who knows us can verify it is all Charles fault!!!! Surprisingly we don’t feel too bad on Saturday morning so off we go for our intended 10 mile run/cycle but after 5 miles I am taught an important lesson 1) don’t run after a skinful of alcohol and 2) don’t run in 28 degrees heat so unfortunately I only manage a meagre 7.5 miles but it’s better than nothing – I will try harder next time.
Kevin and Debbie leave us once again on Sunday morning to visit Dole on the canal du Rhone au Rhin but had mentioned it the night before just in case they left before we got up. Kevin calls later to tell us his satellite is now working after a guy from his installer spent 2 hours remotely reprogramming his system. Charles contacts the Oyster technical team where a knowledgeable bloke talks him through a short 5 minute process and hey presto our Pearl (nickname for Oyster dish) jumps to life . – hope we meet up again as they are a lovely fun couple.