Our Barge, Odysseus

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another Oops! Aug. 30-Sept. 2

Ah boating! Just when you think things are going great you get bit on the ass!
We left Verdun in the bright sunshine, the first in a couple of weeks. We're pulling into our second lock of the day when the control cable from the upper steering station to the transmission snaps. No brakes! In addition, the boat was stuck in gear. Luckily Odysseus is not a high power machine so no great damage was done to either boat or lock; some chipped paint on the bow of the boat and a broken handrail on the lock gate. We made our report to the friendly waterway official (his name was Pascal ... really!), creating our own little piece of paperwork for the famous French bureaucracy, and headed on our way.
We stopped again in Consenvoye to lick our wounds and unhook the cable to prevent further mishaps and the next day stopped along the bankside beneath the lock in the village of Dun-sur-Meuse.

Our first chore was to walk up to the church that looks down on the town. This was the view over the Meuse Valley.

When we were headed upriver we saw the church at Mont-devant-Sassey off in the distance. We wanted to investigate.
We unloaded the bikes for a ride to the village, just about 5 kilometers down the river.
Our guidebook told us that "This small village (100 inhabitants) has a very interesting church. Built in the 11th century, it was heavily modified later, to the point of being transformed into a fortress by armed bands during the wars of the 17th century.
It is very imposing.

Unfortunately, the church is open for visitors during July and August. It was September 1 so we couldn't get inside.
Back in Dun we wandered through town and discovered a small holiday camp by a little lake. They had found a unique way to reuse an old "peniche," the French commercial barges.

The brochure advertised "Bowling Americain." Two lanes!

The next morning is was off to revisit Stenay.

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