Saturday, 24 October 2015

Barge Holiday on Le Cher France Day Two 28/6/2015

Sunday morning and breakfast outside, what could be better. Following our checking out we were able to leave our cases at the hotel for the day, as we were being picked up late afternoon to be taken to the boat.
Its only a short train ride from here to town and coats 1 euro 60 each. Access to the platform is via a tunnel with steps coming up on to the platform. The don’t have graffiti in their tunnels they have murals  like this.

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Its only one stop into town and when we arrived we found the roads in the centre closed off, I was expecting to find a bike race, but what it actually was, was the Grand Prix de Tours spending the day in town with classic cars and bikes. There was everything from E type Jags to 2CVs

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        From Honda monkey bikes to Norton Dominators

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They spent all day going round and round the town centre behind a race safety car, at times the safety car was just behind the last car going round. Of course they all had to stop and the barriers moved when a tram wanted to cross the circuit.
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We visited the old town where there are the remains of a very large church called The Collegiate Church of Saint Martin. This church use to cover quite a large area at one time as can be seen from the plan below.  DSCN1508 The tower was turned first into a shot tower and workshops, however  later someone decided it would be a good idea to dig an Artesian well  to supply them with water which lead to it becoming unstable.

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We stopped for lunch in one of the small cafes in the old town, it was a set meal and unfortunately I didn’t make the best choices from the menu so didn’t enjoy my meal that much.

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A walk down by the river Loire which surprised me as to how shallow it was in the summer months compared to the winter floods. Today you wouldn’t get under the bridge with a rowing boat, but there are mooring rings 10 foot up the second part of the wall.

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After lunch we wandered back to the town centre station to catch the train back to Gare St Pierre des Corps. After a coffee we returned to the hotel to retrieve our cases and wait beside the large yellow post box outside the front of the station to be picked up and taken to our boat.
At this point  Déjà vu strikes. The boat is not where it should be, but about 20 Km upstream above Civray due to low water levels below the lock, so our mini bus ride was a bit longer than planned and our cruise shorter.


The black section is the actual cruise and the red is what we missed out

On the way Alain, or driver and skipper for the week informed us that there would only be 4 guests on board for the week and that Leigh the boat owner was picking up the other couple from where the boat should have been.

We got our first view of Nymphea moored on the lock moorings just above the lock. the lock itself was full of canoes.

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Then it was drinks on the top deck to meet the rest of the crew, Leigh the owner, Erell our House Keeper and Jenny our chef. Alain who had picked us up was the Captain as Leigh was leaving the following week for Paris.

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