We have no excuse, the weather was perfect, the forecast for tomorrow not so, and we just wanted to be rid of the Train of Wood and the interminable delays it causes us, so we left quietly to be at the first lock at opening time, well before it was due. Even then the photographers and spectators were starting to gather at the bridges and the lock in anticipation of it’s arrival.
It was at the next lock we met our first obstacle. A little rowing scull with three and a cox aboard, snuck in ahead of us, while we waited for a ship to pass. It is a little know fact that small rowing boats can cause all manner of inconvenience in a large lock, if they occupy the one space set aside for small pleasure boats. It’s probably also little known, that small rowing boats travel faster than small pleasure boats. They do this deliberately we think, to ensure (fair enough) that they get the good spot in the sloping sided locks and that we will never run short of character building opportunities.
Then of course there are the ships. They are large things, nine metres and more wide barreling towards us, carrying thousands of tons of stuff, and they appear from nowhere only on the narrow little pieces of canal which appear for short distances, never on the vast expanses of river. Six of them in a row today in five kilometres of canal, but that’s OK, we can sneak by. It’s not as if we can’t see them.
But all that aside, we are on the Seine now and heading in the right direction. All that prissy scenery and it’s rolling fields and tree-filled hillscapes is behind us, and we are into the real thing. The interesting bits. Broken warehouses and overgrown shipwrecks are interspersed with power stations and shanty boats.
It’s not at all gruesome. We have to be careful now as it’s easy to be distracted by the details as we are swept down the river. We set out to travel a few kilometres and ended up more than fifty away, but now we’ll find respite in another chocolate box top for another few days. We have arrived in Moret.