Tuesday, 8 June 2021

I'm cycling Canal du Bourgogne

…I'm picking up from where I left you in my last post, at St Rémy.  Having made my trip to Montbard and back, I didn't stop…
From St Rémy (Lock 67), I decide to cycle on.  I'm heading north and towards the lowest point of the canal at Migennes, about 100Ks away - an no, I've absolutely no intention of convering that distance today!  But, the sun is bright and high and the canal is in the shade - a perfect combination for a stress-free trip on the bike.
About 5 kilometers and three locks further on (Lock 70) is the bridge at Rougemont.  I stop and wheel the bike across to the centre of the bridge.  The water kind of sparkles in the sunshine and there are a few people out with picnics still enjoying a last glass of wine after lunch.  On the other side of the bridge, I spot a fabulous display of flowers at a canal-side property.  A great excuse not to peddle and have a gulp or two of water and take some pics.
Away from the shade of the trees I can feel the searing heat of the sun on my face and the backs of my legs.  It's time to move on.  I  want to get to Aisy-sur-Armançon before turning back towards where the car is parked.  It's just another lock (Lock 71) and another bridge further on.  And yes I know, the numbering system of the locks is confusing isn't it?  But we're in the département of Yonne here so the lock numbers are suffixed with a Y to differentiate them from the other locks with the same numbers that begin at Pouilly-en-Auxois and continue south.
Aisy is another sleepy little town.  With a population of about 250 it boasts a boulangerie and a couple of other small businesses along with an old priory.  I park the bike and take a wander.  The street I'm on is named after a Marthe Saillard and I'm curious to know who she was and why the street carries her name.  Unfortunately, there's no-one else around to ask.  I follow the silent street and find a wine merchant and the baker's, neither of which are open.  A handwritten note on the door indicates the breadshop will open again at 16.30.  I check my watch, that's almost an hour to wait.
River Armançon
I retrace my steps still in search of information about Marthe, but unusually there is nothing, not even a little blue plaque displaying the street name and the dates of her birth and death.
  Something to research another time, I decide.  I collect the bike and trundle back to the river on the outskirts of town.  There are some benches in the shade and I decide to have a half hour stop watching the river…
Back at the campsite I check my map of the canal and my notes and do a quick count.  I've covered a total of 20 locks in my two weeks here.  A few of them more than once - well I like to be thorough and I can't see the point of rushing.  So, that's another 169 locks to look forward to for future visits!

I still don't know the history of Marthe, despite several checks through encyclopedias and other reference material once I returned home.  So, I will go back to Aisy at some point…

You can read more about the canal and my little discoveries along the way Here  Here  Here  and  Here 


  1. What an interesting and beautiful place.

    1. HI Mason, it is - I spend as much time in France as I can. Can't wait to get back there once we can travel again. Thanks for visiting.