Day Eight – A Bakery, Bikes and Birds

We rather cocked up the locks yesterday. Remember I said our boat briefing was rather brief? Well we sort of realised last night, after the lockkeeper came to ask us if we were doing any more locks around 6.30pm, that we must’ve moored after one of a series of locks. Tony had written on a post-it note during the ‘briefing’, “phone at lock 46”. The trouble with someone just talking ‘at’ you, imparting important information, without the back-up of written directions (in English preferably as it’s a British company I believe), is it’s unlikely to be retained. And it wasn’t a phone call at all. At lock 46 the gate wouldn’t open until Tony pressed an intercom device. What we realised this morning, was that intercom set up the chain to operate the next four series of locks.

Consequently this morning I walked the short distance to the next lock, pressed the intercom again, and managed to make myself understood, using a mixture of French and English, that we were heading towards Savergne and needed lock 47 opening. Oh my! We’ll work out what we’re doing by the end of the trip 😂

We journeyed up the remaining chain of locks, discovering en route another glorious poppy field adjacent to the canal.

Breathtakingly beautiful.

Stunned at Hochfelden

Today we finally found a superb mooring. I’d go as far as to say it’s the best I’ve seen anywhere. Just the one boat fits mind you. That’s all we need!

We decided to slow down and take more time visiting places from here on in. There were two nearby towns we planned to explore. Biking to one I saw this memorial to some Lancaster Bombers …

Hochfelden has a brewery, which sadly wasn’t open today. However, although Tony was disappointed, Kerry and I were enthralled by this quaint place.

Firstly for me because I found my first boulangerie and patisserie for a few days. I’ve been craving French coffee and cake. We found it here. my wish was granted …

We continued cycling around, working off the pastry calories! Oh my. What a terrific town. Quaint houses and buildings at every turn. Then something I’d heard about but never seen previously…

Nesting storks would you believe? At one point I spotted half a dozen flying around the dark dappled sky. They looked like pterodactyls. Incredible! We watched as a male flew into the nesting female bringing more twigs and moss to line their babies bed. Wow! How special.

A Short Cycle Onwards To Schwindratzheim

Our next destination was Schwindratzheim. Try pronouncing that! I can just about, due to living a few years in Germany in the early 1980s. Tony understandably struggled.

We weren’t so amazed by this town, though it was still pretty.

Shortly after we returned to our boat, three Scottish gentlemen on bikes arrived and sat at ‘our’ picnic table for a rest. They’re on a holiday aboard a hotel boat called ‘Madeleine’, along with another 20 guests and crew. Their boat just fits into the locks. We’d seen a barge exiting the lock as we cycled back.

It’s been a busy canal today for the first time. Passing boats don’t seem to have any idea about slowing down past moored boats here. Hire boats of course. The hotel boat was most courteous and knew the etiquette of boating on a canal. No wonder our pins were pulled yesterday!

Company On Board

Meanwhile, back in Middlewich – watch out! Dickie and Barry are together again with every chance of their escapades getting rather messy …

Cheers boys! Enjoy 😊

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4 thoughts on “Day Eight – A Bakery, Bikes and Birds

  1. I am loving your pictures, Sandra, but am sorry that Barry is still stranded in the UK, but at least he is not alone at present. I am fascinated about the locks and having to phone – when we holidayed on the Canal du Midi and the Canal du Nivernais there was an éclusière at every lock. How wonderful to see the Lancaster Memorial so well looked after. Chris was on 50 squadron in the 1970’s when they were flying Vulcans. Oh those cakes – do you ever wonder how the French stay slim with so many tempting treats in every village? Jennie

    • Thank you Jennie, it’s a fabulous country but such a pity about the visa fiasco.
      The locks are all different. Some we just have to pull a cord dangling over the canal before the lock, to set off the mechanism. Others are in ‘chains’, for which we have to pull the cord for the first one then press the intercom. Though not always. They just self open as you approach them so I’m guessing there’s some sore of cctv or infra red to set off the process. Fascinating stuff. Very different.

      We haven’t had a lock keeper at all yet …
      Yes the memorial was very well kept. There’s a lot of respect for the British support in the war here.
      No idea how the French stay so slim 😂

  2. Oh wow! See the yellow house on the right of your 6th pic? It’s a holiday let which we stayed at some 10 years ago!

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