Reims to Sillery

We got the fenders, at last. We had to ride out to the courier distribution centre a few kilometres away but with the scooter that was no hardship. We also collected Frank’s bike, and with newly fixed pedals he was able to ride it back to the port without the dare-devil antics we had to deploy in order to get it to the repair shop in the first place.

So, onwards and upwards through the locks we go. But only about 10kms and 3 locks to the Halte Nautique of Sillery. WOW! What a difference. Quiet, scenic, big pontoons that can easily hold 20 boats of our size – and in fact will take up to 25 meter boats. Great swimming for the boys and good leadless walking straight off the pontoon.

And, as we got a hammerhead berth, we have also attached the swim ladder to the side of Thirza and have had a couple of nice swims in very clean and clear water. We are usually a bit dubious of swimming in canals but there is at least one swimming club locally because there are numerous swimmers up and down past the boat every day. Not to mention the canoes and kayaks that glide past.

To top it all off, we are in the heart of the Champagne Vineyards with Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger, Moet & Chandon and Pommery (to name just a few) all having vines on the hillsides around us.  Patsy and Eddie would LOVE it here!!

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Strange though, Nick and Fiona are heading to Diou for a break and they intended to visit us on the way back. When they heard where we were they changed their plans to visit on the way down………can’t think why!

It has cooled down a little these past couple of days and we took a cycle ride up to Verzenay, one of the Grand Cru villages. Our ride took us through the vineyards, which all look to be in top condition and full to bursting with small young grapes. Of course, Frank had to try one and although he said they’re really bitter at the moment he is predicting a vintage year……let’s see if Dominique Demarville agrees! (By the way, he is only the 10th Cellar Master for the house of Veuve Clicquot in over 240 years).

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