It’s more or less common knowledge now that this so called ’summer’ didn’t meet reasonable expectations as yet. Last week, Monday the 4th of July, this was the morning-view through our rear window. This reminded us of autumn! For the untrained eye by the way: the background shows the front of the boat behind us. In Laifour, where space is tight.
Laifour was left that same Monday at 10:25AM. It happens regularly, even when the sun does not add anything to the scene, that one only can look at the Meuse’s beauty in awe. This is just a random example.
We cruised for just a few minutes over 2 hours, climbed 2 locks and ended up in Monthermé. Here we are – the boat that was visible in the background on the first picture has breasted up to ours. Not because there was no space for him, no, he needed a depth of 1,80 meters (6 feet) and the river proved to be too shallow. We only need 1,10 to 1,20 meters (4 feet) in the centre -even less on the sides- and rarely encounter any problems when we want to moor. We were moored on the (sharp) inside bend of the river. For obvious reasons a river tends to be deeper on the outside bend.
On many occasions boats and campervans cluster together. Monthermé is no exception to this ‘rule’. It does really look like a holiday-resort. Undeniably tight spaces for the campervans, but there’s grass in front to sit and relax and, next to the boats, poles providing water as well as electricity. Everybody happy.
Looking to the south - upstream
The Meuse, as seen from the hillside (yes, it was a steep climb, hopefully you are all pleased), looking upstream…
Looking to the south - downstream
…and looking downstream. The hills and the river have created a splendid meander at Monthermé.
As we couldn’t get enough of this, here’s a short video of the same. At the end we zoom in on our little ship, moored down below.
We left beautiful Monthermé on Thursday at 9:45AM and moored at Château-Regnault (Bogny-sur-Meuse) at 10:30AM. No locks and a mere 45 minutes of cruising! The Meuse gets slightly narrower, as numerous tributaries are passed by when going upstream, the last one being the Semoy.
On the opposite bank we spotted this swan-family of mum, dad and child. Only one of the latter – maybe (former) Chinese law applied on them. Anyway, a scene like this never fails to stir up some soft feeling inside the spectator.
The Steed Bayard and...
Looking at our moored ship from a different angle a statue of ‘Le Cheval Bayard’ (The Steed Bayard – ‘t Ros Beiaard) and ‘Les Quatre Fils Aymon’ (The Four Sons of Aymon – De Vier Heemskinderen), Renaud, Guichard, Allard and Richardet, is visible at one o’clock on top of the hill behind us.
...the Four Sons of Aymon
The statue shown even better here. The fourth son is just visible above the shoulder on the right hand side. For more about the sons and their horse, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Sons_of_Aymon.
Thursday the 7th of July was a great day for French football. Their team beat Germany 0-2 in the semi-final after only some 30% (well, maybe 35%) of ball possession. This is how the French felt about it. The final against Portugal awaits tonight. We fancy France…
Château-Regnault (Bogny-sur-Meuse) was left behind on Saturday the 9th of July at 10:07AM for a cruise towards Charleville-Mézières, a cruise of around 18 kilometers (11,25 miles), 3 upstream locks included. On the second lock (Joigny) a VNF-employee was cutting the grass and his dog accompanied him. The lovely animal was highly interested in our actions. Therefore he/she deserves to be mentioned in our blog.
We arrived at Charleville-Mézières around 1:15PM, being sure of having a reserved mooring-space as we had arranged for it by telephone, on both Thursday and -to make absolutely sure- on Friday. There was no space! The French! It is not the first time we are confronted with an obvious ‘laisser-faire’-mentality. We’ll never get fully used to this, being brought up in a slightly better organized country. It’s always ‘mon collègue’ that gets the blame… Well, the (German) boat that was moored in the now empty space in front of us was prepared to move forward a few meters – just wat we needed.
It is a combined camping ground and marina where we are now. The marina offers spaces on and off the river, the latter behind a bridge that is too(?) low for us. So we’re on the river. This picture illustrates the combination camping ground – mooring spaces.
We had a walk on the camping ground. Our attention was drawn by a car, parked on a camping plot without a tent or caravan. The grass around it was cut, unlike the grass underneath it, suggesting that the car is abandoned. One wonders what the reason behind this situation can be…
At long last it looks like being summer! Well, at least until tomorrow according to the weather-forecast. It’s now, Sunday afternoon 2:35PM, even 29C/84F! Time for a beer!