September 21: Briare to just past Cosne-Cours-Sur-Loire

Dave and I woke up at 6am and at 6:30 he took the car back to Gien and cycled back to the barge. We all showered and had croissants for breakfast. At 9am the lovely young gentleman from Le Boat showed us where someone had switched off the water! We left just after 9am and the first lot of locks were automatic. The rest have had very helpful lock keepers and some have actually looped the ropes for us. The locks are all manual which means a lot of work for them! We crossed over the Loire on a narrow canal – the pont du Loire. It was amazing. We stopped and had a picnic lunch at the side of the canal. At the next lock I bought a bottle of Sancerre regional Sauvignon wine for the white wine drinkers and at the next lock I got tomatoes. They look fantastic and I am sure the lock keeper was pleased to sell some of his produce. We tied up at Cosne and Dave and I used the wobbly bikes to cycle to the shops – which were closed! The round trip was 5.6km and I enjoyed the exercise and relative peace! Only had to worry about falling off the bike. We went through the next lock and found a spot to tie up at. I made mushroom and courgette pasta sauce to go with the filled pasta we bought. After washing dishes I sat down and had some cheese and biscuits before heading to bed.

"September 21"
September 21

September 20: Amsterdam to Briare

Breakfast was a choice of French toast or omelettes. I chose the toast and Dave the eggs. It was served with a bowl of fruit which was good and a bowl of not so nice yoghurt. We landed early, made our way to passport control and through security to wait for our flight to France which was delayed. Dave and I walked around a bit, had coffee and then went to wait for the flight. After landing at Charles de Gaulle, a day and 5 hours late, we collected the car and headed for Briare. We stopped on the road and bought lunch to eat in the car. We dropped the luggage and Annie and Dell off at the barge and then Dave and I went shopping. With that all sorted and the suitcase unpacked, I could finally sit down and relax for a bit. We had cravettes and olives to snack on and then we made a tomato relish and Toulouse sausages for dinner. Cheese and biscuits to end and I was ready for bed. We are tied up in the barge basin so I had a shower using their facilities. It was bliss. The water on the barge stopped running for some reason. This is our blessing in disguise because had we been on time we would have been some way down the canal when it suddenly stopped. I headed to bed around about 11pm – quite a late night for me!

"The Barge"
The Barge