The barge men’s strike and Marion’s birthday

Barge strike blocks the river

What a busy week, the barge men have gone on strike and Marion will be 50 this week.

Certainly a lot has been happening even with the strike aside. Firstly the locks keep growing in size. On the southern end of the Nivernais the locks were just 30 meters long. From the summit level north they were 38 meters long. Then when we reached Auxerre they grew to 108 meters.

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Summit level on the Nivernais Canal

Nivernais summit

We have arrived at the Nivernais summit level. Well what a trip this Nivernais canal is turning out to be. It is just beautiful
 with it’s winding course following the l’Aron and l’Yonne rivers. With over 150 locks
the Nivernais is a bit of work too. The V.N.F. (Voies Navigable de France) lock keepers are superb and take all the hard
work out of it. 
Because this canal is shallow we

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A wet Easter on the Briare canal

Wet easter

Well it’s a wet Easter Saturday and the weather should be reasonably good by now!
 But it was raining when we woke this morning and it’s still raining. when we untied at 1pm 
it was raining and it kept raining all day. We tied up in Dompierre sur Besbre at 5:30pm and it was 
still raining. Now don’t get me wrong, after all I’m a Paddy and well used to rain,  and I’m used to wet Easters too, but I thought this sort of rain only occurred in Ireland?

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Coures les Barres

It has been unusually cold and wet here for the past ten days or so. We were 
waiting for an improvement in the weather in a small town called Coures les Barres
 and today 1-April-10 was just such a day. It’s still cold but at least the sun came 
out as we headed south towards the city of Decize. It was a seven hour trip which
 was a bit more that we had hoped to do.

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The start of a new season

Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow. 
(Billy Shakespeare)
. Ah yes a new season is upon us and it’s sad leaving the good friends that we have been lucky enough to 
make in Briare. Soon we head off along the canal again. I had been looking forward 
to leaving Briare in the spring sunshine since the first snow and ice of the 
winter appeared last December. But when the day finally did

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Day trip to Gien

Well all that snow and ice that you saw in our last blog has melted now and
the temperatures are generally well above freezing, 6 degrees today but there is a very cold wind out which makes it feel a lot cooler. We took the local bus to Gien our largest neighbouring town yesterday, it was the first time that Mar and myself had been out of Briare without proper adult supervision but we managed not get lost or get into much trouble.

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