Along the Nivernais to Auxerre

Due to the heat we stay another day in Clamecy but on Wednesday we decide we must move off so set off at 9am travelling 18k with 8 locks arriving late afternoon at Châtel-Censoir being greeted by the very friendly Capitain who helps us moor and provides us with information about the village and shops. We take a walk up to the church and castle which provides lovely views and on the way down stop for a small beer in the square.

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Châtel-Censoir

Castelcensoir9On Thursday 21st June after a mile and a half warm up run I find a hill to run up and down for 16 minutes during which Charles passes me on his way to buy a baguette so takes a couple of photos of his ‘mad’ wife!!IMG_0532Another beautiful day although a bit windy we enjoy a mixture of canal and river travelling 14k with 6 locks arriving in the early afternoon into Mailly la Ville where we see Charlie and Marion from Moondance, again.

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Mailly-la-Ville

In the evening we have a lovely evening with them, drinking copious amounts of Rosé on the roof deck of Moondance where I feared for Charles safety getting off but he managed it without incident.

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Naked lady looking over the lock at Mailly-la-Ville

Mailly is a very tiny village with very few facilities however they provide three separate pontoons with free electricity and water and it is very beautiful and peaceful.

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Abseiling at Rochers du Saussois

On Friday we cycle to Rochers du Saussois. The limestone wall dominates the Yonne for almost 50 meters and we can see children experiencing abseiling together with lots of screaming. On our return to the boat with both Charles and I feeling weary although the cycle ride was only 11.5 miles we stretch our legs with a walk across the bridge to a small park and then around the village which sadly seems very run down.

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I wonder if they are …

On Saturday (23rd) after a short 4 mile run  I am again rather excited as we are travelling to Bailly today (16k and 9 locks) and visiting one of my favourite caves to stock up on bubbles. The waterways are much busier with hire boats and at one point we are followed by one who clearly has just taken over the boat as it zig zags it way all the way into the lock so for the sake of safety for Bluegum I get off at the lock and help them rope up encouraging the captain to engage reverse swiftly. They are very apologetic but we reassure them that we all had to learn and they are doing great and they missed us!!! I’m afraid I don’t like hearing all the criticism of hire boaters as many of them are very competent and the newbies are clearly trying to get it right. Obviously there are some exceptions but that’s the case with some boat owners.

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Mooring at the Bailly wine cave

So after sampling the wines we settle on three cases which are delivered to our boat – great service with a smile so I quickly put one in the fridge before we cycle off to Vincelles for a food shop. On our return we stop for a very nice glass of Petit Chablis for me and a Leffe for Charles at Auberge les Tilleulis.  The restaurant is highly recommended but being French and a Michelin Star establishment does not provide any vegetarian options so we settle for a drink before returning to Bluegum to savour our first bottle of Bailly in quite some time.

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Should keep us going for a week or two ..

Sunday the 24th June is Englands second match in the World Cup and ‘we’ are playing Panama so it is essential we find somewhere with good reception.  But before we move I have a half marathon to run so we set off early with Charles cycling alongside with my water and I feel quite chuffed with myself for completing it in 1:55;16 not a PB but only 3 minutes off which considering I wasn’t running under race conditions is pretty good – even though I say so myself. So business out of the way we leave Bailly a little heavier than when we arrived and travel a short distance of 3k with 2 locks and are very happy to see the pontoon at Champs sur Yonne ready and waiting and empty for us.

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Champs sur Yonne

There is room for two boats and the most important thing is to check reception so Charles bobs into the boat and turns on Pearl (pet name for our Oyster satellite dish). We can feel mild panic rising as she turns around and up and down without finding anything so we move the boat backwards and hey presto we have a signal.

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We get a signal just past those trees…!

Just as we settle down another boat arrives and we have to move Bluegum to provide sufficient space for them to moor up. We decided to find somewhere for lunch as in our guide it gives details of a couple of restaurants but cannot find them so settle for a cake each and I rustle something up before settling down for the match by which time the hire boat has left and been replaced by a small boat with a large family of French folk stopping for a picnic. Laura messages me that she has betted on a 5 – 0 win for England and as the game progresses with England getting more and more goals the messages flood in with the final result being 6-1 to England – unbelievable and Laura is still happy to have won £40 – I’m not sure I can cope with all the excitement recently so after finishing off one bottle of fizz we continue celebrating with a second – we may have to return to Bailly to replenish stocks if England keep on winning.

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Last lock on the Nivernais – entering Auxerre

We wake up to a very hot and sunny day so set off early to travel 7k and 5 locks to arrive in Auxerre  before lunch and secure the last available mooring on the public quay. We are a bit miffed with an English guy who rather than take the nearest electric point to his boat takes the one we could use but Charles is pleased to try out his 2 x 25 meter new shore power cables although he continues to grumble and I am forced to give him one of those wifey shut up stares  when the guy tries to justify why he hasn’t used the nearer electric point and I know Charles wants to retaliate – but its just not worth it.

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A popular and busy port – we get the last available mooring for our length of boat
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The French are remarkably quiet watching the match

We stay in Auxerre on Tuesday so we can watch the France v Denmark game and just as we are leaving the boat see Moondance come into port so wave to them to moor alongside us leaving them to it before seeing the first half in one bar and find a busy bar for the second half but it’s a lack lustre game with a 0 – 0 draw.

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