1 incline plane, 3 locks, 20 miles, 5¾ hours
I woke unusually early this morning so got up and emptied the dogs. Deb got up and made coffee and I sat outside to take in the glorious sun.
I noticed the left caisson coming down so went to MR to see if they were up for a dash as there was no one waiting to go up.
The problem with being in a queue is the commercial boats get priority and given that it can mostly only take one at a time of the big ones and that a full up/down cycle can take well over an hour and that there seemed to be only 1 caisson working this seemed too good an opportunity to miss.
Hurriedly we both cast off and got a green light to enter almost immediately. Having tied up the caisson driver told us we’d have to wait for a group of 8 other boats from a cruising club to join us. About 20 minutes later they started to arrive and within 40 minutes of us arriving they were all in and we were on our way.
The weather made for some better photos going up.
We stopped at the top again to empty the dogs again as this quick get away took 2 hours in all. Once underway we retraced our steps from yesterday for and hour and a half past our previous nights mooring.
then we were in new and very picturesque territory.
Odd things happen as you cruise along. This one was a racing pigeon hitching a ride while it took a rest. Just before he boarded us he swooped low and scooped up some water. Something I’ve never seen a pigeon ever do.
Our first lock of the day was another first. This one had sliding doors as did the following 2. Seems locks here come in sets.
All 3 locks were about 7m deep all had floating bollards. The 3 locks were in order 3 Viesville, 2 Gosselies, 1 Marchienne-au-Pont. Once though the last lock the landscape changed once again.
This area was once famous for coal extraction and steel production. There are many slag hills as reminders of the coal industry and as we travelled on the through and joined the Sambre river it became what I can only describe as a ghost town. This is post industrial area is magnificent in its scale and decay. Again the pictures don’t do it justice.
The wall art here is very very good, Hopefully on the way out I will get some more photos.
After a long day we reached some moorings just on a bit from the post industrial zone.
I’m not overly impressed with them, the area is decidedly dodgy and there’s already been a fight just above the mooring between about 10 local kids.
Charleroi does not read well on any search, accept that is its own website which is mostly missing lots of useful information. It seems all this post industrial decay is now its claim to fame and is their pride and joy. We have already seen a trip boat giving a tour and there are urban safari trips you can go on, and photography tours.