Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, August 31, 2012

Open sesame
Richardmenil to Nancy

One could be forgiven for having thoughts that summer was over a day early as dawn arrived with a temperature in single digits. 

It's not that we were particularly aware of the dawn temperature, but Ron looked triumphant, having discovered in what for us would have been the wee small hours that the air-conditioner was actually a reverse cycle one.  Once again the saloon of Tiara, this time magically heated to a balmy twenty four degrees was the setting for our elevenses, which, because we were anxious to get underway, took place at nine.  

We hadn't considered for a moment that we took to be his triumphal look may of course have been merely one of relief, knowing that we would soon once again part company and they would once again find solitude and relief from our periodic raids on their larder and coffee supplies.

The ten kilometres between Richardmenil and Nancy is known as the Nancy Junction Canal had been closed for four years or five due to land-slips and other malfunctions which left parts of it devoid of water and other parts simply devoid, but was reopened mid year with little spectacle and it is a rather relaxing diversion through one of the city's green spaces,  with the tow path shared by what seems to be every cyclist in France, and possibly half of the remaining population who don't for one reason or another have bikes for that matter.    Bicycles, hikers, mobility scooters and even the odd walking frame whizz past as though there is no tomorrow.

If we were to have a complaint at all, it would not be that there are nineteen locks along the way, but that the hydraulic devices that operate the doors tend to be quite slow.  This is a good thing. It makes transiting through them entirely worry-free, but after staring at the nineteenth pair of gates for the day, willing them to open, the process can be as much of a drain on the mind as it is on the locks themselves.

So we were a bit weary by the time we arrived in Nancy, the breeze which had been building all day, had become wind, with gusts sufficient to stop most of our forward progress from time to time, so we prudently elected to stay against the stone quay opposite the port where hundreds of metres of empty quay allowed us to nonchalantly stop and tie off wherever the wind took us.

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