lundi 24 juin 2013

Blessing of the boats 15.06.13. -16.06.13. and beginning of the Canal Rhone au Rhin

Eventually we left Dijon and continued down the Burgundy canal to St Jean de Losne, the boating capital of France... We needed to buy a new lifebelt as someone in Dijon thought it was OK to steal ours and John doesn't swim very well..... They also felt obliged to steal one of our trays of flowers from the top of the boat and John also lost two pairs of glasses there, all in all Dijon was an expensive place!
 They seem to love these reclining bikes over here!
The weather was so very hot these three days it took us to get to St Jean de Losne. It had reached 38 degrees today but this ominous black cloud turned out to be a torrential hail and thunder storm which we moored in, I got literally soaked to the skin!!

 John walking Patrice and trying to avoid the puddles!
This was the view through the fence where we moored, but John fortunately saw the Alsatians before they saw him.......!
We moored on the steps at St jean on the banks of the River Saone. This river had been closed to navigation in May as it has risen by 8 metres..!!
There were many stalls along the riverside but these two were very good, he didn't fall from his ball!

Along with another bargee we were the judges in the 'Dog Competition'

 This dog won first prize and her elderly owner was absolutely delighted!
Sunday morning 'Mass' was held and the priest then boarded a boat and blessed each boat, ours was blessed twice!!
 We were moored stern out to the river and all rafted together- it was a rather strange sensation!
 The bows of the priest's boat, we chuckled at the name...!!
The pries at the back of the boat with the altar boy and girl.
 All afternoon, water jousting took place in the river. We had superb views as it all took place at the end of our boat. We were fascinated by their medieval posturing, it was all taken very seriously!!

This young lady was very good and often demolished the men!
The festival finished off with all the boats parading up and down the river in a huge circle. There are no pictures as I was too busy helping John to keep us alive to take photos!! It was manic and really dangerous, most of the French drivers were really drunk!! We were awarded two bottles of special wine with the labels printed with the date and the festival, and John and I were also given medals for judging the dogs!! We left St Jean de Losne on the 20th June and headed down  the Soane and turned right into a lovely old canal the 'Rhone au Rhin Canal' we went past the most enormous factory spread over miles in which area we were not allowed to stop.

 The huge factory buildings!
We spent a night at Abergemont-la-Ronce and then set off the next day for Dole. The locks are very slow but that day worse than usual, one german boat going up and down in the lock for 40 minutes without the doors opening......Eventually we moored at a lovely pontoon at Choisey where we still are. There are no electricity or water but the view is lovely and we have good neighbours! We cycled in to Dole (5 Km each way) for music weekend (Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd June) and saw some excellent bands. Music night happens on Mid Summers day in france where the government fund loads of different types of music to play in public on the streets of the towns. It can be  very noisy but we have heard some gems here!
 Beautiful gardens on the riverside near Dole.
Our favourite group at Music night.
Well it is 24.06.13 and that is all our news for now so I shall leave you with a lovely sunset from St Jean de Losne and a cute photo of Patrice. We are still at Choisey but will move on soon.


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