It didn’t take long for Graham and Iris to get their sea legs back. I suppose this shouldn’t have been a surprise and not just because they had been staying on Roger’s barge in Chalon-sur-Saone. Here, in truth there is nothing that even remotely resembles “sea” to trouble unadapted legs.
From the moment they arrived it was as if the last half-dozen years had not vanished, and we were immediately reliving those months we’d spent with them on “Manatee”. There was one slight difference though, and that was that the urgency with which we travelled then had us up before dawn, walking to glean what knowledge we could of each overnight stop, before leaving in time to be at the first lock in time for it to open. Each day we would travel until lock-keepers hours dictated that we could travel no more, putting as many river kilometres under the boat as we could, Graham anxious to travel as far as he could in what was to be their penultimate season in France.
Today, sometime before lunch, unhindered by lock-keepers schedules because we didn’t intend to go through any, we gently motored away.
An hour later or perhaps a little less, we stopped, ate lunch and decided that having no need to travel further.
Somewhere between our afternoon rest and dinner we set off for a wander around the village, a mix of structures ancient and modern although the term “modern” is used advisedly to describe materials of the mass produced kind. We wondered as we walked through a sea of roofing tiles similar to those which were marketed in the Antipodes as “Marseilles Pattern”, whether they had been sold as “Mooloolaba Pattern” here to give them a suitably exotic ring.