An authentic small trading boat.  A sailing boat, it has a readily droppable mast and sails to negotiate the low bridges.











A welcome drink at Montargis for Ian and Helen Palmer - our great friends and guests for 10 days on a cruise to Nevers.  They had arrived via Paris from California after visiting thir son and daughter (in law) who were expecting their first child - the Commodore and Lady Helen's first Grand Child !









One of the endless lovely stretches of plain (plane) tree embraced canals.  This is the Briare.















Left - the entree, Baked goats cheese on toast - 'Chevre Chaud'



On the right - the main course - Sauteed Chicken under a Mayonnaise Mustard sauce on Gelee

































Left - Ian brings us safely into a lock.  Above - a sortie by bike to admire half timbered houses, steeped in antiquity







Afternoon aperatifs - Champagne and goose pate












First you have to cook it













And then you can eat it.  Aussie BBQ style with premiere cru wines








Endless sunflowers...

Where is Van Gogh ?










The vines of Sancerre, and below - tasting the results.
















The Lord High Commodore Admiral Ian and Lady Helen's wedding anniversary at Briare......














The pont canal at Briare - designed by Gustave Eiffel of the famous tower.











Who is the winner - boules - canalside









Well sometimes it rains and the wind gets up and the brolly blows inside out while we are outside putting the inside of the pot - out.












A handsome farm by the canal
















A 'wild' mooring under the cherry trees and (below) dancing the night away on the top deck with no-one to worry about the volume from the stereo.




























After saying goodbye to Ian and Helen we took a ride to a medieval town for lunch.  Tiny buildings, impossibly narrow streets, live accordion music and artists painting next to our luncheon table.














Again taking to the bikes we traveled about 6km to find an abbey and the remains of its predecessor, a 4th century church, ruined by the revolution, its materials carried away by locals to build their own homes.















The impressive religious town of Parail le Monial.  Full of pilgrims and religious conferences.















The flight of seven locks - now defunct - at Rogny
















Chateau and its private theatre at Digoin on the Canal du Centre,  Owned and managed by the family that has been in residence for a couple of hundred years.














The private theatre at the Chateau.  Now run down but a beautiful little opera theatre complete with seating for about 80, a dress circle and stalls, an orchestra pit that would fit about three players and footlights, a prompt box in centre stage and various mechanical aids to productions.  Only amateur shows were staged by the family and friends.









One of the pretty ports available for overnight stops.












At a hotel Dieu, the apothecary.  The drugs are no longer in the rows of ceramic and china jars but the hotel was in operation as recently as the 1970s.