4 Locks, 12 miles, 4 hours
We spent a couple of days at Lumes. On the second day we went in to Charleville in the MH. The station at Lumes is only part time as it is a commuter town.
The common theme in all towns here is the amount of long empty shops. Its sad really because looking at some of the houses and public buildings this was once a prosperous area.
The sun was out and all the locks worked without issue so it was a nice cruise. We have defiantly given up roping in the locks for the time being at least.
We arrived at Sedan marina and were greeted by 2 Dutch boaters ready to take our lines. Once moored we paid our dues and settled in to doing general life things. It wasn't long before other boats started to arrive until by tea time the marina was full with 6 boats on our pontoon. There were Dutch, Czech, German, occupants, all of which were in conversation distance and all conversing with each other in English. No wonder we are so lazy about learning other languages.
The following morning I took off on bike to retrieve Napoleon from Lumes. I have a SatNav on my phone and ear buds to hear it. Now we have lost the continuous paved towpaths the only way is by highway. Normally this is fine but today it tried to send me on a Motorway. Not on a bike thank you! So the only other option was a walking route. This was a mistake. It took me on a single track very unmade road. The surface being so bad I got a blow out. Now with only crocks on and on the road of sharp stones I had to walk about 3km until I came upon metaled surface again. I tried to blow the tyre up with a borrowed pump but it was pointless. So I rode the last 4km on a flat tyre.
While I was doing this the last night boats moved off and a new crop was in place. 2 of them UK owned barges “Rival” & “Albertine”. We were invited for pre dinner drinks with the crews that are travelling together.
We chatted about boaty things and for probably the first time toilets didn’t get mentioned.
Prior to the we took a walk into town. Yet again loads of empty shops and not much of a shopping centre so we went for the tourist attraction, The Chateau Fort Sedan.
This is said to be the biggest in Europe. To be honest I am done with castles and fortresses. They are all the bloody same, just in different places.
The one treat of the visit was a rally of Rolls Royce’s that had parked in the courtyard.