If I may misquote our dear friend Al (who hasn’t written in a while), the lower end of the rock is pretty much just locks and trees, and occasionally trees and locks for a bit of variety. Sure they are pretty trees, very pretty trees in fact and sometimes the locks are pretty too sometimes not, but it’s interesting travelling it in weather that’s almost perfect for travelling, rather than when it’s too hot or too cold.
When it’s hot, there are dozens if not scores of places to moor in the shade, near babbling brooks and barrages on the river, places that seem designed for simply whiling away the afternoon, while gaining respite from the heat. When it’s cold, there are no leaves on the trees and the views seem to go on forever, begging us to slow and drink them in. Now however, the undergrowth has overcome the view, we are confined in a green tunnel which is, given that it is truly the height of summer, eerily deserted, and the urge to keep going albeit very slowly seems to overcome all else.
We don’t of course keep going all day and we certainly don’t rush, barely reaching speeds above seven kilometres per hour but even so the sixteen locks we passed felt more like twenty-five for some reason, and we are but half a day from Epinal where once again we will attempt to visit the print museum. It will once again be a weekend when we are there, what can possibly go wrong?