Well not seriously broken down, just a dodgy alternator that needs changing, but we will be here now until the weekend waiting for Ted the French mechanic (who is a really nice bloke but speaks not a word of English) to return with a newly wound alternator. Not a bad place to be moored up for a few days a good sized old town with plenty of interest and the benefit of two markets a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The weather on our journey had been really nice up to Namours but since mooring up it has been lashing down with rain for most of our stay in Namours.
The splendid aqueduct at Briare
We finished the canal de Briare at Montargis and moored outside the huge Brico to pick up some wood for the wheelhouse for a few hours. We then moved on after the shop and finished the day outside a pub run by a Scot on the downstream of lock number 3 at Montabon PK6 on the Canal du Loing, they had a live music session scheduled for that night, a rock chick from good old USA singing country and Western numbers.
We stayed and had a beer, a pint of Murphy’s, and caught the sound check with the lass singing a classic Janis Joplin number, Bobby McGee. I was slightly thrown by the surreal scene; of drinking a beer from Ireland, with the sound of the barkeeper with a rich Scottish accent asking if I wanted another pint, and from the stage a lady from southern USA belting out a track from my teenage years, I smiled with the thought of the unexpected always capable of slapping you in the face even on a secluded French waterway.
The following day we moved on to Namours via Souppes-sur-Loing. They are spending millions of Euros upgrading all the locks on the Canal du Loing, including the electrification of every lock making them all automatic by August this year.
At one particular lock they were behind schedule with two lockkeepers opening the gates by pulling ropes. It was on the last stretch up to Namours that the battery indicator light came on but we were able to moor up successfully at Namours before finding a French angel on an adjourning boat who just happened to know a boat electrician nearby. It is our belief, that is constantly reinforced, that if you leave yourself open to serendipity than it usually finds you.
This post was written by Terry Barrett
Photographs by Tes