Beautiful scenery , animals and kind people will dominate this post. It is therefore a pleasure to write.
We left out woodland camp about 0830 and joined the nearby road. We cycled just 5 miles to a nearby town called Brienon sur Armancon. We had a coffee in a Tabac before riding on a short distance to connect to the Canal de Bourgogne on the Dijon – Migennes section.
A short distance down the canal we came across a lock where there was a boat waiting to pass. The lock keeper was very nice and used some impressive sign language to explain the process. He even allowed me to open the gates to let the boat out after the water had levelled off!
After this great effort we sat down under a trees and cooked some beans with olives and bread for our breakfast. it was very nice.
Onwards towards Tonnerre after this. The canal was glorious , we saw water rats and an otter as well as some beautiful Herons. The cycling was straightforward and we were very happy.
We cycled around a bend and saw two goats heading towards us. One black one white. They were walking towards a house – a lock keepers house on the opposite side of the canal. We had no choice but to stop and say hello to them . The black one was so friendly. I think she would have gone to sleep if I has kept rubbing her ears and neck. This made me so happy . gorgeous gentle animals.
Into Tonnerre a while later and we found the AirB&B place I had booked yesterday. We found it with relative ease and after meeting our host Jeanine we went into the town for food. Tracey met a lovely dog and made a new friend.
The next day – today – we explored Tonnerre. I was here 11 years ago when I was walking 1500 miles from Amsterdam to Barcelona. Back then , I was admiring the Fosse Dionne a beautiful spring with the most incredible turquoise water when a Gandalf like figure arrived. Long hair, a massive walking stick and an intriguing demeanour. I said hello and that was it, I had met Kris Put who was walking from Belgium to Spain I think. Kris was sleeping and foraging in the woods. He had come to town like me to explore. We chatted for a while and had something to eat. 11 years later I am back at Fosse Dionne with Tracey and thinking of the friend I met that day . Kris, if you read this, know the impact you had and know that it was and remains a pleasure to have met you . Its the people that make the journey.
Kris is in the photo from 2011 and the Fosse Dionne today.
We spent the rest of the day looking round Tonnerre which is both beautiful and tragic. It is not the busy town of 11 years ago , it is decaying . We asked about this in the tourist information office and were told that some big employers had left the town and as a result the local economy was crashing. This is extremely sad as this lovely town and people deserve better.
At lunchtime we went to Les Vieux Volets (the old shutters) a small restaurant run by Patrick Gallot and his daughter Marion. Lovely people who spoke superb English and were very kind to us. I had a fabulous salad and Tracey a Gallettes (Pattie) . We talked about our mutual backgrounds, Patricks wife is Japanese and is currently in Japan, Marion is engaged to a Japanese gentleman and will be moving to Japan soon. Fascinating people who generously donated to Médecins Sans Frontières after they heard our story.
After this we visited the churches, a market and relaxed in the centre. Back on the bikes tomorrow.