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(All photographs can be viewed at a larger size by
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This month we had a computer crash on the laptop, and unfortunately lost all
of our treasured photos for July – they are all still in our hearts and
mind – pictures
of old friends, the Nicastros, John Teichman and new friends, Roselyne and
Jean Baudouard of Agouant and Mademoiselle Clo of Pizza Clo in Macon. It really
hurt to lose them, but now there is ample backup in the computer so it will – hopefully – never
happen again. If any can be found then they’ll be added in later months,
with any luck.
Hot weather continues unabated for the month of July, the skies are a clear
azure and there’s no trouble keeping up bronzed golden tans. Even with
hats and sunscreen there’s no avoiding the effects of the sun and even
toes can boast their deep glow of sunshine. The banks of the Saone River also
drink up the sunlight reflected in the high corn and endless fields of huge
sunflowers turning their beautiful orange yellow faces towards the sky. There
are occasional days of rain, which brings a cool respite from the heat.
Festivals are everywhere around the country – there is a lot of live
music in the village squares, the concerts usually begin around 8PM and end
at 11PM or even happen at lunchtime. They range in everything from jazz to
rap to classic French songs. Unfortunately there is a strike against the new
government laws that restrict funding for the arts and some of the festivals
have to be cancelled as a protest. We don’t quite understand the details,
but are grateful for the music that does happen.
While in Macon Charlie and Carla Nicastro meet us for a couple of days cruising
on the Saone. Leaving Macon with the Nicastros there is an excellent mooring
in front of the flowered town of Tournus – water and electricity is free
and the pontoons are in excellent condition – who could ask for more?
Dinner is in a lovely little Italian pizzeria called Pizza Clo. Little demoiselle
Clo is the owner’s daughter and she sits with us during dinner to entertain
us with some French songs. In turn we sing some English songs for her and have
great fun. As we leave she makes us promise not to forget her and we won’t
ever. Hopefully Charlie has her photo and we’ll print it later, she is
too cute to miss.
The next day is an excellent day of motoring to Chalons-sur-Saone, a very
popular place, and full of dozens of boats, both transient and permanently
moored. The town is very vibrant, both touristically and business-wise with
many major corporations based there. There’s also a huge car rally under
way and in the Boogie Blues Bar we run into a big pre-rallly party. Revelers
are all around and a mysterious stranger buys us all a round of drinks. When
the drinks arrive he introduces himself. Fabrice is a Belgian television cameraman
and the drinks are to apologize for the ruckus he and his friends are making.
After chatting with him for a while we’re all invited to the dinner party
the following evening.
At Chalons-sur-Saone there is a very handy superstore called Carrefour just
across the bridge. The big summer sales are on and we take advantage and get
some incredible deals on boat shoes and clothes. In the evening the four of
us then check out the rally party. It turns out to be a smashing affair with
a live bank and a few hundred people dining and dancing. We join our new Belgian
friend right in time for dessert and some wine, a nice cap to a lovely visit
from Charlie and Carla.
Leaving Chalons-sur-Saone, the weather gets a bit cooler but the sun is out
so conditions are perfect. The river is wide and the villages and towns very
picturesque with beautiful Burgundy steep pitched colored tile roofs and ornate
exterior woodwork. The destination is the Canal de Bourgogne, but due to the
lack of rain the water levels are falling in all the canals, down to dangerously
low levels so that soon some will be closing completely for the season.
.....on to August