Yet Another Restful Day on the Canal
Cours-les-Barres Travel Blog› entry 12 of 15 › view all entries
It was cloudy when we woke but soon it cleared. Helen & I went to the market & bakery and we all had a relaxing breakfast. Afterwards, the girls and I went back for more bread. We were so mellow getting going that it was pushing 11:30 when we entered the lock. The book said that the lock-keeper here would call the one that managed the next two. I asked him whether we could make all three & he said we could if we hurried. The next 2 locks were close together & operated by one guy. They were the first electrically-operated locks we've seen so I didn't have any work to do on the first after securing the lines and was able to start running to the second. The lock-keeper was great & remained cheerful even though it was after 12 when we cleared.
Clearing that lock put us in a harbor at Marsailles-lès-Aubigny. The town & harbor were so picturesque that Earl slowed us to a crawl so we could take it all in. In retrospect, I wish we had made it through to here the previous night.
At Cours-les-Barres, we found a beautiful mooring area with free water, electricity, showers, etc. We walked up to the town & had a great lunch at Auberge du Centre.
A bit later, we dealt with the locks at Guétin and they were in a different class altogether. While the others locks had lifts on the order of 2.5 meters, this pair had a combined lift of 9.2 meters or 30 feet! I wisely decided to stay on the boat since I could see no good place to get off and couldn’t imagine what I’d do if I did.
Immediately upon exiting the locks, we crossed a huge canal bridge over the river Allier, a broad river that flows into the Loire. It didn't appear that we could get to a meaningful town before 7:00 so, when we found ourselves on a winding, tree-lined stretch of canal, we moored for the night. With no restaurants available, dinner was pizza plus some bread & cheese. Once again, the "crew" was less than delighted at the dinner arrangements.