With the city of love in their wake, Heidi and Kev continue south through France

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Day 17

Last night, all three boats headed to the same restaurant (French cuisine). Excellent service – from the single waitress and one poor chef who had a full house to plate up for! At 11pm we are ready for our beds.

Although we are on the river, the large barges do not move about from 8pm till 6am, so, at night, you do get a pleasant sleep.

Saint Mammes has three restaurants, a butcher, bakery and pharmacy. Many places closed after the flooding at the beginning of the year.

This morning (Sunday) I have been woken by the sound of the market stalls being set up at 7am. Not that I am worried – I have been awake at 4am most mornings for some reason! The market is right at the quay entrance so not far to get any supplies today.

It looks like they have a fishmonger, a butcher, veg stall, jams and honey – so will head out and have a proper look very soon.

Wonderful fresh produce at the market in Saint Mammes

On the other bank of the river are the fishermen, all quietly sitting and waiting. I look off the back of our boat, while writing this, and have lots of fish jumping frolicking behind me.

The sun is shining again but storms are due over the next day or so. This means that we may have to stay here a little longer before heading on to Briare, which is the next big town on the journey. We will be there in about ten days, all being well.

We have moved around the corner onto the Du Loing Canal and the Moret Sur Loing pontoons, which is just before the lock to the main canal. This is a beautiful spot and no large barges to bounce us around on the rivers.

The secluded Moret Sur Loing pontoons on the Du Loing Canal

The other British boats have all come around as well so, later on, we will have a picnic in the park next to the moorings.

We are expecting rain later which, I hope, will allow the air to clear as it is really muggy at present.

Day 18

What a lovely town this is!

It is a medieval town, just so beautiful – full of character, lots of quaint little shops and antique stores. There is a museum and a pretty church that you can go in and have a look around too.

For bigger shops, there is an Intermarche – an easy walk from the mooring.

The pontoons are managed really well for both St Mammes and More Sur Loing. The managers come around in the afternoons and take all your boat details and insurance details.

For a mooring with electricity and water it costs €8 per night. No showers or washing machines though but everything else is great.

Enjoying the charming sights of the riverside town

We may have to stay another night tomorrow as the weather is due to come in again, although we were expecting a storm this afternoon but nothing has happened yet.

There are ducks and swans that have realised I am a complete softy! They keep popping around for bread. Mrs Duck has six ducklings – they are just so sweet. Mrs Swan has two signets of which both are totally different colours. Mr Swan gets very feisty and does try to attack your toes!

Day 19

So the promised storm did not happen but, at 4am, we got really heavy rain with a threat of thunder. We decided to stay put for another day as I will have to be climbing ladders and activating the locks (according to everyone that we have spoken to on other boats) so the thought of slipping is not a good one. We are now at 4pm and no bloody storm! Second day wasted. Tomorrow, we will have to go on no matter what the weather says.

We have walked all over this town now – today we have walked to the hardware store and have finally got a lump hammer in case we need to use the metal steaks that we brought with us whilst heading down the canal.

I have also got a pair of gloves so that I can activate the locks – without getting my hands all slimy and risk catching a stomach bug (although it’s never happened before). Lets hope for better weather and a good run over the next few days!

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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Day 17
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