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Coulange sur Yonne to Clamecy
Canal du Nivernais

Wednesday, July 5th -- Coulange sur Yonne to Clamecy (6.6 km , 4 Locks)

Patrick cranks up a drawbridge

Yet another easy day today. (We know that we will pay for it later!) I got up early and went to the bakery to get our requisite croissants, pain au chocolat, and bread. My very basic French and an appropriate amount of pointing and smiling is all it takes. Our goal for the day was Clamecy.

Today was the day that we hit our first drawbridge. Now normally I would be the one to crank the bridge up, but seeing that my arm was in a sling due to a shoulder dislocation 2 weeks prior to leaving it was up to Julie. We let Julie off and she walked up to bridge, looked at the illustrated directions, began to turn the crank--and viola, the bridge went up. After clearing the bridge, she cranked the other way to lower it and got back on the boat.

The couple from Florida who we met earlier told us a wonderful spot to moor in Clamecy. They told us -- Turn right as soon as you pass through the lock. Tie up under the big tree as it will give you shade all afternoon.

We got the spot and were they ever right!

Our view from Clamecy

Clamecy is a beautiful town. It has several ATMs (the first since Auxerre) and supermarkets within 500 meters of the quay. We walked around the town to the top of the hill and found a beautiful church at the top. We went inside and there was some beautiful stained glass. The exterior had large gargoyles all over which the kids loved. There were also birds swarming in and out of the stonework. It was fun to watch the turn, swoop and disappear in a blink of the eye.

There is a wine shop in Clamecy called The Cave. It has a huge selection of local and fine wines. You can also buy bulk wine in the rear of the shop. Guess who we ran into while we were buying our wine? Yes, the French couple!

There is also a museum in Clamecy that is worth the time, an hour or so. Besides art and some gallo-roman relics, it has a whole floor dedicated to the history of the Canal du Nivernais. There are models of the log barges, photos, and the actual tools that were used when Clamecy was the center a booming logging industry.

Across the square from the church is a wonderful Italian pizza restaurant that we had a wonderful dinner at. A few language problems trying to special order something for Evie, but she was a trooper and ate what she got.

Back to the boat for a rousing card game of War with the kids, then off to bed.

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The Canal Stops For Lunch

One of the things that we learned very quickly on the canal was that the locks REALLY do shut down for lunch every day.

While we were at Lock 56, le Place, we watched a very interesting mini-drama unfold before us. As we were getting ready to leave the lock, a boat full of Germans pulled into the lock at 12:05. Seeing no lock keepers around, they decided that they could do it themselves. The lock lady had another idea as she came out of the house yelling and carrying a rather large lock and chain. She ran up to the front gate of the lock and locked the gates together, thus locking the boat in the lock. Needless to say, the Germans spent a leisurely lunch looking at gnomes from inside the lock.

The gnomes at le Place

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