Birthday Boy….

Monday the 29th June is of course Charles birthday although he is non too enthusiastic about this one – I try and cheer him up by reminding him that he now gets a state pension but for some reason this doesn’t seem to help….. we have a relaxing day and make a special effort for a nice evening meal on the deck. I have now set up my Just Giving page asking for donations for the forthcoming marathon and with monies already coming in feel very motivated to reach optimum fitness which also means more exercise for Charlie Boy!! So we get up nice on early on Tuesday morning for an easy 4 mile run/cycle and then on Wednesday morning a 5 mile/run cycle.  I never thought I would complain about the weather being too hot but we are experiencing high 30’s this week which have possibly reached 40 degrees during some parts of the day – it makes it very difficult to do much so our exercises, housework and any jobs gets done as early as possible these day and then we limp around for the rest of day seeking shade.

St Jean de Losne quay
St Jean de Losne quay

We leave Auxonne on Wednesday 1st July – where has this year gone to? we cannot believe its July already and arrive in St Jean de Losne to find the quay full but fortunately we see Henri  and Francoise at the end of the quay and they wave to let us know they are just on their way so we are lucky that we can just snugly fit in but don’t get a chance to have a chat with them – hopefully they have got their mechanical problems sorted out.  In the afternoon we take a walk out in search of an ice cream which turns out to be unsuccessful so settle for a cold bottle of Rose in a bar overlooking the river – its not our fault all the shops are shut……..

No ice cream in sight
No ice cream in sight

We get the bikes out on Thursday and have a lovely ride along the river to Abergement-La-Ronce which is on the canal du Rhin au Rhon a 17.8 mile round trip.  We are hoping to find a small restaurant for lunch but have to settle for a bottle of water an a small quiche each.  We hadn’t realised we were in a naturist area and are rather taken aback when a naked man and woman climb out of the river – the river must have been very VERY cold!!! Charles and I have been tempted on more than one occasion to take a dip to cool down but would never consider doing it in the buff – must be our British upbringing. While we are out we bob into Blanquarts to check about the bow thruster getting fixed.  They are very friendly and we are shown where we can moor on Sunday ready to move the boat to where the crane is on Monday morning – or it maybe Tuesday as they are very busy – don’t you love the French way of doing business – we have nowhere particular to go so we are just happy it’s getting done.

A bonus of a 6am start
The bonus of a 5.30am start

It is a bit of shock to be woken up by an alarm clock – we have distant memories (or should I say nightmare)  of it being a regular occurrence when we worked for a living  but Thursday morning we are out on the road by 5.30 for a 10 mile run/cycle – believe it or not its already warm. It really is a lovely time to be out seeing the sun come up, listening to the birds  and having the river bank to ourselves apart from the odd fisherman.  On our way out we see a man setting up 5 or 6 fishing rods in a neat row and on our way back we see the rods duly in place and the guy sat in his car listening to the radio – we don’t get it – what is this fishing lark all about, where is the enjoyment and is there any skill to this inactivity? So many questions and so few answers – Could this be why we see more men fishing than women?  Thinking we are getting cheered on by a group of people on the other side of the river we look across and wave only to find we are being mooned at – for those unaware of this term some bloke has dropped his trousers and is flashing his bum at us – Really – this early in the day??? It’s enough to put us off our breakfast…..

A quiet river mooring
A quiet river mooring
Leaving St Jean de Losne ... again!
Leaving St Jean de Losne … again!

We spend Friday and Saturday in Seurre, a pleasant town that had a bit of bad luck between the 15th and 17th centuries being involved in many battles and being burnt down. Today I’m pleased to say it is a peaceful place and certainly worth a visit.  On Sunday morning whilst walking back from the boulangerie with our treat of croissants and pain du chocolate we see lots of families on the river bank.  Children are fishing with fathers sat next to them offering support and guidance we presume. Mums and other siblings are sitting watching a little further back.  Its amusing to see the fathers surreptitiously glancing sideways to check on the competition.

We get well over for this one!
We get well over for this one!

We head off after lunch back towards St Jean de Losne and arrive in Blanquarts marina late afternoon. We take a look at the allotted mooring and decide it’s a bit tight (windy and no bowthruster = bumping other boats!) but luckily there is a easy space on another pontoon. There is a large gathering on the quay in the town – an annual canoe racing competition. Only in France – all the bars on the quay are closed so the owners can join in the fun! We find a bar off the quay and a enjoy a couple of beers – contemplating the impending ‘lift-out’ of our home!

All the town are here
All the town are here
A photo finish!
A photo finish!

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