Eighth day: from Montbard to Chassignelles
The first bakery in Montbard is open on Sunday morning. As we are having breakfast a hotel boat leaves the port. It is going in the same direction. We leave after ten minutes but after the first lock we are immediately behind it. It is navigating provokingly slow and is ploughing half the bottom of the canal. Overtaking is no option. It does not make way a meter from the middle of the canal and the captain doesn't look back though I 'm sure he is aware of our presence.
We navigate through muddy water behind the hotel boat. It is interesting for herons though. A heron is flying with the hotel boat all the time and catches a fine meal.
Our plan to look at the old forges of Buffon which dates back to the 18th century, fails because of the dawdle after the hotel boat.
We loose the hotel boat around noon because it slips through a lock just before the lunch of the lockkeeper. We have to wait. We just arrived at the Forges of Buffon which is closed in the lunch interval. We don't have much attention for culture these days. Because of the bad weather we didn't cycle to curiosities as the Abbey off Fontenay close by Montbard and now we miss the Forges of Buffon because of the siesta.
It is a beautiful section of the canal here because the Canal de Bourgogne is dug through a hill and therefore it is somewhat smaller. Our boat is moored under a beautiful bridge of yellow stones.
We navigate on after lunch. Since Montbard the hills are on the northern side and the river valley on the southern side. The Armançon is a beautiful river. Some times we are enjoying marvelous views and see beautiful arched bridges over the river.
Today Maarten is motivated to work with us. He cycles the whole time from lock to lock and is working for the best. He runs from the front side to the backside to open the sluices at the lower side after closing the gates at the upper side. Then he pushes the gates with the utmost exertion to open them. The children know exactly the functioning of the lock, in which order all the actions have to be done and where to pay attention to. They know for example that when the gates open through the wind again, they have to open the first sluice just a little until the gates close again because of the current. We are used to the weather now: cold and wet. Fortunately there isn't much wind. At some sections of the canal swallows are flying over the water. They have a blue complexion on their backs and a light belly. We also see herons again waiting at the edges of the canal. They often flyaway just before we are close to them. A couple of time I can see that they are successful in catching fishes. Sometimes they even outwit some big specimens. On our way we pass a couple of quarries. In Ravières they saw thin plates mostly, later we see a quarry where thick block are laying at the quays. Just before Ravières a bridge is situated which is lower than all the others. The hotel boat just fits under it. The landscape is still fabulous. We are enjoying the extensive cool-seed fields in the hills very much.
When the hotel boat moors in Ravières, we change our navigation scheme and travel on for more than an hour. We moor in Chassignelles. Chassignelles looks pretty from the waterside. Big blossoming chestnut trees are growing along the canal just behind the lock and I see an inviting café-restaurant.
I talk with the lockkeeper. He tells me that weather forecasts for the coming days are not very good. He telephoned today with a college at the Canal du Nivernais and they even had some snow today. He also tells me the bakery will be closed tomorrow but it 's still open this evening until eight.
I therefore go to the bakery immediately to buy some bread and also five pastries because of Maarten's birthday. In the evening Marga, Charlotte en Pepijn decorate the boat at the inside. I abandon the plan to the decorate the outside of the boat now because it is raining again.