Sunday, July 2nd -- St. Aignan to Mailly le Chateau (11.0km, 8 locks)
We got underway and cleared our first up lock by 10:00 am. The canal was narrow with trees lining the bank. Fields of
reap seeds stretched over the hillsides as far as you could see.
We stopped for lunch just before noon as the
locks shut down for lunch from 12:00 to 1:00. We took the patio table and chairs off the rear deck and set them down in the
shade just off the towpath. The view of the still waters of the canal and cows in the field beyond was so peaceful.
We got underway and headed up the canal to Maille-la-Ville where they were having a bric-a-brac fete. Basically a flea
market/garage sale that lined both sides of the main street of the village.
As we passed by the village, people
were sitting at tables yelling and waving at us. (Perhaps they had been drinking a bit of wine as well.) We decided to stop
and see what was going on. The town had a couple of docks just waiting for us.
Our first stop in the village
was the bakery on Rue du Boulangerie (street of the bakery). We decided not to see what was on another nearby street, Rue
de Abattoir (street of the slaughterhouse).
Julie and Christopher found a tiny merry-go-round nearby which
Christopher loved. All of the characters on it were Disney and Christopher felt like he was at Disneyland.
Patrick took off to the candy stand booth where he bought all sorts of different candies with 40 francs he had. The shop
keeper put the candy in a little sack and he was so proud of himself for doing it all alone. The sad part was when he accidentally
threw it all in a dirty dumpster when he was trying to throw out some other trash.
Evie found some wonderful
hand-painted tiles to bring home. Julie and I bought some homemade walnut oil from a charming gentleman who let us know that
it was good for both digestion and pregnancy. We just thought it tasted good.
We walked back to the boat, started
up the motor, and left this cute little village heading up the canal. We went through a few more and stopped in the afternoon
at a small pull out with a couple of other boats near the village of Mailly le Chateau.
Julie, the kids and I walked up into the village proper. We walked over a small bridge spanning the Yonne. Just over the
bridge there was a statue on top of a pedestal. The statue is of a wolf covering his eyes. At the base of the statue was
a fountain the would squirt out water with a hidden foot switch was pressed. I had both of the kids convinced that if they
knocked on their heads the fountain would squirt. Even Julie was unsure what was going on.
We sat the river bank and dangled our feet in the water to cool off. Everyone that lived in the village was inside watching
France beat Italy in the finals of the Euro 2000 soccer match. And we were alone on a beautiful stretch of river. It was
a wonderful and peaceful end to our first full day on the Canal du Nivernais.