With a concerted effort, an early start and everything going our way, it’s possible to travel between Nancy and Lagarde in one day.
So it was that with that one thought in mind, we timed our departure faultlessly to arrive at the first lock at precisely the time its gates were opening for the day's business. Our perfect plan was going well until that point and didn’t start to unravel until the time came when one would normally exit the lock. All that is required to enable forward motion is for the gates to open automatically as they are supposed, and that is exactly what they failed to do.
At this time of year itinerant lock keepers are a bit thin on the ground it would seem, so it was a little less than an hour until we were set free and able to continue happily for another few kilometres until the next lock once again required manual intervention, this time leaving our plan looking decidedly unachievable.
But the sky was blue and even the smoke from the salt works gave us a cheery wave as we passed, so there was little reason to feel any angst. A new plan would surely form given enough time.
As it happened, Rob and Janet, trapped by the ship-lift still broken in the opposite direction, themselves still coming to grips with their own change of plans, had them changed again when we pulled in behind them in Einville for a belated lunch time stop. It didn’t take rocket-science for any of us to work out that in all probability none of us were moving again today, and that the probability of achieving the statutory eight hours sleep was not entirely large.
It would be nice to have a lottery ticket with the same winning probabilities, but it’s hard to imagine that a winning ticket could provide a more enjoyable outcome!