18 Locks, 1 tunnel, 18 miles, 5¾ hours
When we arrived at Commercy Tim and Jan from Doorengone were already there. On their advice we went out for a steak dinner. Wow! was it good.
We did a bit of shopping at Aldi and discovered their chocolate which is also Wow. Commercy seemed to buck the trend. Most of the shops were occupied and in the centre was this public building totally disproportionate to the size of the town.
We set of from Commercy knowing we had a long day and a lot of locks. As we had guests its was nice to give them a good trip and of course the workload was shared as my brother did a fair stint on the helm.
After a few hours and a few locks we made it to Lock No.1 on the Canal de Est branch Nord and the River / Canal de la Meuse, with the numbering starting at the border of France and Belgium with the last lock No. 59. Since the Belgium border all the locks have been ascending. We have climbed 151.5m and done 272.4km
Once out of this lock and we soon came to a junction and a new canal where we turned left.
The first part of this was defiantly a contour canal we followed a cruiser out and filtered in between him and one coming up behind. The one behind was non to pleased with this and powered up to overtake us. Did he use his horn to give the correct signal? No. He just waved his arm gesturing us to move out of his way. Seeing how it bothered him so much we did, but being narrow and shallow he chopped up the water making the overtake quite interesting.
Really makes you wonder if it was worth the effort. Probably less than 15 minutes ahead of us.
2km later we met with Foug tunnel east end. Here we had to wait for the lights to go green in our favour as a barge was coming the other way.
This was the longest tunnel so far about ½ mile. Once out we came to a basin and were signalled to the by a green light into the right hand lock where we were relieved of our remote control.
Still not sure? Does this help?
OK it’s a lock going down. Yes going down and the first of a series of 12 locks down to Toul. Each lock is about 2.7m so dropping us 32m. Each lock automatically set it self for our descent so the 12 locks and 8km look a little under 3 hours.
We were gongoozled and flashed. I didn’t see, it but the woman in the red dress lifted her hem and flashed her red knickers as we went under the bridge according to my brother.
Once through lock 25 we arrived at Port de France, the town moorings. However there was no room for us, so we have moored on the other side. Not a problem, no one has asked us to move and we are right by the VNF office.
Monday morning me and Malcolm took a train and a bus back to St. Mihiel to get the vehicles this took 2 hours in all. The girls took a walk into town and Deb lined up some window shopping for the next day as France seems to have either a half or full day closing on Mondays.
In the afternoon we all went into town for lunch, however this proved troublesome as we were late. Lunch in France is 12-2pm and not a second before or after. The first restaurant informed as we sat down, the had no eggs, no fritts, no Plate de Jour, and sold beer at €3.90 per 250ml. We left. The next place we did manage (grudgingly) to get a pint of beer and a couple of wines for the girls but no food so left with no other choice. Malcolm, Dawn and Deb got kebab and chips on the way back to the boat.
So much for French cuisine today. Malcolm and Dawn took there leave late afternoon for a ferry at 9.45pm. We are now nearly 300 miles from Calais.