It has been a very busy week, after the slow start. We were pleased to finally escape the Yonne River and get onto the Seine.
There, we made the decision to travel a lot further than normal, aided by the good current in the River. So, we got to Paris in one day (instead of our normal two days) and then spent another day getting to Andresy instead of our planned two days.
At Andresy, David picked up some new diodes for the big alternator/welder. These were ordered the night before and came from France, Belgium and England in less than 24hrs to the local Bric a Brac store which is a Relais for UPS. Fantastic service!
It was about this stage that we learned our daughter and family would be arriving in Amiens a day earlier than we had expected. So, we headed off North on the Oise River- This time pushing against a strong current and only making half the speed we did on the Seine.
We are over-nighting at Longueil-Annel and are fortunate because it is the annual "Pardon". There are many boats here and they are well "dressed" with flags. There is music, food and the very entertaining jousting competition on the river, just above the locks. So, we have put up Anja's mast and added a number of flags so that we fit in with the other boats, large (110 metres/2000tonnes) and small (7 metres).
The trip through Paris was uneventful. We were very lucky because (at 055am) Penny noticed that the first lock at Port a l'Anglais was showing green. The lock keeper had started early to accommodate a couple of commercial boats that wanted to make the 15minute window for getting past Notre Dame. We did not think there was much chance of us making it, but went at close to our maximum speed and DID make it- with 4 minutes to spare. We were the last boat through and the only non-commercial craft. We had an excellent and non-stressful view of Paris's magnificient bridges and other attractions as there were no Bateau-mouches (tripboats) at that timne of day.
This was Penny's fifth time in Paris in the one month since we arrived. This is a record.
Incidentally, did you know that there are 1,000 electric cars in Paris with 5,000 allocated parking spots? They are 6euros for the first 30 mins. You put your destinbation into the GPS and it reserves a parking spot near to your destination. You park, plug in the power cord and you are done! What a fantastic service and as with the rental bikes (which are free for the first 30mins) take a lot of polluting traffic off the Parisien roads.
Other cities in France are installing the same system.
Dave and Penny