Mason Alfont and some ghoulish discoveries

Day before yesterday we moored up at a lonely single space at Maison Alfont which I’d read had good reviews.  First signs were not good.  Someone had had a fire on the pontoon and there was a barrier stopping us from reaching dry land.  Too late to do anything else Kev got his toolkit out and removed the barrier temporarily.  We ventured out and apart from a bit of graffiti all appeared good. 

Yesterday we visited one of the famous sights … The veterinary museum.  Also a veterinary university and practice.  I have to say it was fascinating and absorbing.  Sorry if the photos offend but the specimens here are from the 17th century so very very dead.

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And that Germany guy who created Bodyworks a few years ago copied his method from these guys who did the same hundreds of years ago using wax …

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All very interesting.

Back at the boat I had a lovely view …

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Until Herbie saw me and rushed up to the window …

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As we left I caught sight of this lovely Chinese building.  It’s a hotel, restaurant and shopping complex.

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Today we have ridden the Seine and are moored up at the Port Cerise overnight which boasts a beautiful country park which the boys are eager to investigate.

We passed this little guy en route …

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I thought he (or it is she?) was charming and in beautiful condition.

We also passed what I think are refugee camps …

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I could be wrong of course.  They stunk!

It all adds up to a very interesting few days.

Lovely Lagny sur Marne

It was sad leaving Lagny sur Marne this morning. It’s such a lovely town and the people are so friendly.  A waiter ran up to me while walking the boys and spoke of meeting them (the boys) while in Meaux with Graham and Jill.  How lovely that people love my dogs!

Anyway, we popped into town early ish to buy yogurt and bread (and beer) and I decided to buy pet food for the local beggars’ furry friends.  I hate begging as I feel it’s done to feed drug and alcohol addictions rather than out of necessity for food.  The owner of a beautiful boxer dog was very matter of fact when receiving my gift of food but when I gave the begger with the cat some cat food he was delighted and so restored my faith in humans for another day.  I hope he felt the same way.

One thing I love about France is how seriously they take their flowers.  The florists always have amazing displays and are always open during lunchtime.

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Teddy didn’t want to leave Lagny either and found this house particularly fascinating.

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Or maybe it was another vacant moment!!

I love a decent ham sandwich for lunch and here is my French version …

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Bread … local bakers
Ham … local market
Tomato … local market

All adds up to major deliciousness!

Teddy found the journey today a bit boring …

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Or maybe he was just enjoying the French smells?

Back on board

So this is what I found when I got back to Avalon …

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My boys didn’t miss me whatsoever! !

Naughty pups!! Anyway,  after saying our goodbyes we moved on and have planted ourselves in Lagny sur Marne which is a delightful town with a bustling Sunday market where I spent far too much money on crab claws and scallops plus macaroons and of course bread.

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We have spent our Monday wandering about before planting ourselves outside a bar and meeting some charming Greek men who work in Paris. 

Not forgetting the delightful Oliver who we met yesterday and who is moored a few spaces along.  A very interesting and we’ll travelled man who was a hit with Herbie.

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Hopefully we will catch up with him in Paris.

Now … Can you guess what here I HAD to purchase?

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A gorgeous little shop full of goodies!

Kev saw this sign outside a bar and chuckled …

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I think it reminded him of himself!

So … scallops for dinner and tomorrow we are off again in search of a marina to take care of Avalon for a while.

Flying high

Leaving Avalon and the boys in the secure hands and paws of Graham, Jill, Baxter and Mutley we made our way to the airport (thanks for the lift Graham) and flew to Marrakech  (:):):)) to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary.  25 years? How did that happen?!

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Our driver was waiting to take us to the splendid Kasbah Tamadot where we were greeted and eased into a few days of unashamed luxury.  This place is amazing.

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Each morning there is a flurry of cheep cheeps and the sparrows line up outside the lounge window for their breakfast …

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So that’s what the arrangement of little biscuits is for!

Amazingly I don’t feel guilty at all leaving Graham and Jill with Herbie’s antics – he he!

Tomorrow we will be heading back to Avalon … but not until we’ve both had our massages and I’ve cleaned out the fabulous gift shop!!

A few sights

Still in Meaux we had a good look round today after popping into town for some essential sandals I’d fallen in love with (ahem).

So we went to the cathedral and looked at the garden we had heard so much about.  No dogs allowed so this was as far as we could go.

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Walking a little further we discovered a Medieval town square.

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Above is one which is partly fake. 

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This one’s real as far as I can see.  There was a few Medieval type people wandering about and seating set up so I think there will be a display later on today.

Then off to the local market for some veggies for our special guests coming tomorrow.  It seems when they hear an English voice a few euros are added on to the price!

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Teddy was nearly attacked by a tiny poodle with a bad attitude (I had my foot ready in case).  He’s so gentle I hate it when he’s picked on.  Plus I admit I’m getting very protective towards him in his old age.  His sight is poor and he gets so confused at times.  Basically he has me wound around his paw! 

What a blooming lovely day

Not much to say except that the weather is amazing! The sun just hasn’t stopped shining for the past week and it is wonderful.

Yesterday was spent lunching lazily which turned into a 3 course meal with a bottle of wine pour moi (I thought I’d ordered a glass). This all finished in disaster when Teddy decided to drag me off my chair ..  ouch! Sore derriere :?. 

This morning was supermarket time where I finally remembered to buy some rubber gloves (it’s very annoying having a split that let’s in hot water) then we headed off for Meaux which is where we are now.  Town moorings are excellent but the locals all seem to want to chat which is a little unnerving … I think they’re casing the joint!

Not much else but I did take some photos … let’s see if WordPress will let me post them.

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Beautiful scenery

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The Captain

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Herbie cooling off down below

All in a day’s boating

No ropes were cut and I was taken out to a wonderful restaurant which served delicious food so all was well. 

Yesterday being Sunday we had a relatively lazy day and woke to a fun run being organised outside. Naturally Teddy and Herbie joined in but didn’t win a medal.

Later we strolled into the town where we discovered a meet of vintage cars. Much to my amusement there was a Golf GTI and a Peugeot 205 in the mix and I can remember both first coming out (back in the good ol’ days when I were a gal)!

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Also saw a beautiful old Citroën from the 70s that Kev drooled over.

So today we are a bit nearer to Paris, resting up at La Ferte sous-Jouarre. We were aiming to moor up at Saacy-sur-Marne but the river was running fast and creating whirlpools around the nearby bridge supports making mooring impossible.   I did manage to get on the pontoon but the flow pulled the boat away quickly and Kev just managed to avoid the bridge support- phew! Hairy or what?! A large hotel boat was in the nearby lock and he barged (literally) through shaking his fist at poor Kev who was pretty much powerless.  In the end Kev went back to the lock where I met him on foot and we travelled another couple of hours down the river to here.

So, an email of complaint is going off to the hotel boat’s company for their rudeness … how very dare they???

Staying put tomorrow to recuperate and investigate the town.  By the way it’s so hot it feels like August and we had our first al fresco dinner on the stern tonight … happy days!

Full steam ahead

Awoke to beautiful sunshine so took the boys for a wander to the local market.  They always get lots of attention and today was no different.  Bought some strawberries then stopped for a coffee followed by beer because the coffee was so strong my head was buzzing.  I figured that the beer would calm the effect and it did!

The locals spoke not a word of English and didn’t understand me when I told them I was anglais so I spoke to them in English and they spoke to me in French … It seemed to work somehow!

After a quick visit to Carrefore supermarket and me navigating an extremely high bridge we returned back to Avalon with supplies and decided that the current was moving us so fast we could probably get to Chateau Thierry in a few hours (15

Anyway, I cracked on with my studies and we reached our destination in under
3 hours. 

Chateau Thierry has a lovely river front which is lively and the natives seem friendly enough.  However I’ve read reports of youths cutting ropes at night so we have moored up using our old ropes and put anchors down just in case.

We took a stroll around the town and bought ice creams as the weather is so warm.   Kev has promised to take me out for dinner later so fingers crossed!

No photos as WordPress hate me.

In search of pain

Or rather, in search of bread! Just my little joke. This morning we wound our way through some very pretty scenery And through some bigger locks where we were presented with … well,  see for yourself …

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This is the remote control for the next few locks … It came in its own suitcase and is very clever, telling us each step before we need to do it.

Anyway, I was on a hunt. The last mooring had no bakery nearby and there was no bread on board so there was an emergency.  We stopped at Damery and went off in search.  We came across a procession of (I think) firemen in their best uniforms together with a band marching through the town. This was to commemorate VE Day.

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Found a well stocked bakery where I sent Kevin inside.  He came out with this …

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And swifty bit the end off (big kid).  Very tasty with hot dogs inside.

Nearby was a bar so of course we stopped for a couple and Teddy made himself at home, stretching out across the entrance much to the enchantment of the locals who made a big fuss of him.  Herbie was being a brat and barking at everyone so we won’t talk about him.

Back on board I went below and studied while Kev steered and it wasn’t long before we reached our sleep – spot tonight at Dormans.

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There is a play park nearby where I can hear children squealing … hopefully they’ll go soon!

So now Kev’s having a nap and I’ve just finished my yoga … I’m being very disciplined and trying to do the same routine of exercise that I do at home.

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Ahh Champagne! !

On to a new canel today – Canel de l’Aisne a la Marne. The sun is glorious and our journey gentle.  We are moored up outside Epernay where some passers by pointed to the hills and said something about wine.  I looked and saw acres of vineyards so obviously we are in the Champagne region now! How lovely (big grin spreading across my face).

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This is the view from the bow.

Today so far I have been acting as a perfect boatwife … cleaning, washing and preparing food.  I wonder how long that’ll last for?! 

Having a problem with loading photos atm, hopefully will sort this out in the next few days (sigh).