Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, May 17, 2013

Nomexy to Void de Girancourt

I suspect that I have written of locks before.  They are probably the greatest variable in our chosen means of travel apart from the weather, not that the weather has varied much this past month. The locks though are the one thing that prevents planning with an accuracy as each successful encounter only serves to increase the risk of delay at the next, through some sort of mechanical failure either as twentieth century technology struggles to sit comfortably in eighteenth century infrastructure, or simply because it's somebody's lunch time. 

They have us bluffed when it comes to making plans to get from point A to B in a given time.  We just know better than to do that, and as we know those on the Vosges Canal to be particularly susceptible to mishap, and because it's raining and there's not much to do if we do stop, we have just continued to travel, further and greater distances in shorter times than we thought we would ever allow ourselves to do.   We had planned to stop in Epinal for a few days, but it will be closed for the duration of the long weekend ahead, and there's not much point really, so we just kept on plugging up the hill in the rain.

Once or perhaps twice in previous years, when conditions have suited, we have been through thirty in a day, and we have come close to that number a few other times, but we've always stayed somewhere for a few days or even a week at the end. 

With shorter operating hours on this canal we can't possibly go that far, but astonishingly perhaps, some time about lunchtime tomorrow we will be entering our on hundredth lock since setting out on Monday, and by Sunday evening we will have been through getting on for half that number again.   

A hundred locks is no big deal really, it's a bit like saying we've been through a hundred sets of traffic lights, but at more or less ten minutes per lock, not counting the couple of mornings she spent walking beside the two long chains, amazingly if one does the arithmetic, it appears that the good Captain will have spent two and a half days of this week, standing in the icy rain!


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