September 23: La Charite to Nevers

I did not sleep well at all and woke up quite early. After getting showered etc. Dave and Nico went for a cycle ride and I read. Breakfast this morning was croissants and we got on our way at a reasonable time. At the one lock where the lock keeper Nico wrote a fine for Tim for disobeying orders (i.e. being where we were). The fine was €10 but it meant nothing! We stopped at a lovely place for lunch. Just past Cuffy and tied up along the Dutch couple we met yesterday. Here the water and electricity are free of charge. I washed dishes then we had lunch and I washed up so we could top up with water. Annie doesn not grasp the concept that the water is limited and Nico was surprised at how much we had used in a day. We hooked up to the electricity mainly for Nico’s phone but his one charger was damaged and Wanette could not find the other one. After lunch we headed on our way – Wanette then found the charger! Nico went for a lie down and I read the waterway book. I discovered that the Ligier museum is 10km away and discussed with Dave getting to Nevers for the night.We had a proper (deep) double lock to navigate and then a passage over a river.  The plan was then to tie up and charge up and go out for dinner. The two locks into Nevers are automatic and quite something!  Between the 2 locks I heard Joyce (Tim’s wife) and she was on the barge. Tim had left Sancerre at 10 according to what he told Nico and caught up with us! Nico told Joyce that they were to turn around and leave us alone. But heyho, they tied up in the port. I packed my suitcase before I knew this but when Dave went to see the port master he saw them. He came to pack as well and had a long chat with Nico. I feel terrible for them that we left the barge but my happiness has to come first. Dave went online and found us an hotel and we took a long walk through the old city to get there. We went to a brasserie to eat the beef of the region and came back to the hotel.

"September 23"
September 23


September 22: Cosne to La Charite Sur Loire

I did not get a good night’s sleep but Dave did. We woke up early and had coffee in bed before showering and making breakfast. First for ourselves and then for everyone else. Del complained that no-one told her what the weather would be and she has the wrong clothes. I had printed out a long term weather report for everyone which must have been ignored. We got going and avoided the first tie up point for Sancerre to ensure we avoided Tim & co. We tied up at Ménétréol-Sous-Sancerre and filled the boat with water. We hooked in to the electricity and got things on charge. This cost €12. As we were about to leave Wanette decided she wanted a shower! This however was left for the day and Dave called the taxi. He went with Annie and Del to Sancerre and I went with Nico and Wanette. We all walked for a bit but Nico’s knee was bothering him so he and Wanette stopped for coffee. We walked on and found Maison Sancerre. Dave went to fetch Nico and we went into the exhibition rooms. It was so interesting. We watched a fascinating presentation on the region. They display it on a relief map set on the floor. The area produces 25 million bottles of wine per year, all under strict control. 75% is Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Pinot Noir and 5% Rosé. We left the 4 of them in Sancerre to have lunch and we walked down a steep hill to the Carrefour to do shopping. This has been the best part of the trip so far! We stocked up on water and food for 2 days and called Maguy (the taxi driver) to fetch us. She was so helpful and assisted with loading and off loading the groceries. Despite Nico promising we would not see Tim till the last night where it is unavoidable, they were sitting waiting for him! This was no coincidence as Joyce pretended and I was more than upset!! We unpacked the groceries, had lunch on the barge and waited for Nico et al to get back. As soon as they did we unhooked the power and set off. I decided to read for a bit but there were locks that needed me. We had a cider between the last 2 locks and then found a place to tie up for the night. There is free water and electricity at Charite but all the berths were taken. So, we moved a bit along and stopped. Nico took the bike for a ride and I washed dishes and started on dinner. I made a vegetarian pasta sauce to go with taglietelle. We had cravettes to start and I was amazed and how they were devoured! Cheese and biscuits to finish the meal. I washed the dinner dishes and asked for the glasses to be left on the table with the cheese plates. This was ignored and all the dirty stuff was put with the clean stuff. (Kim, if you are reading this, my name is now Sophie). The ice tray was left empty in the kitchen! Only 3 people take ice in their wine and not one of them has filled a tray once, despite emptying two a night. I have been moaned at for there not being ice. I got ready for bed and Wanette had her 30th plus cigarette for the day. Someone then had a shower and I lay awake for ages!

"September 22"
September 22