Oisilly to Auxonne

We left early Thursday morning because I had a work meeting with the Chelmsford team via Skype at 11:30 and we wanted to find somewhere good to stop for a couple of hours.  Maxilly sur Soane seemed to fit the bill.  Despite the name it isn’t on the Soane but just 2 locks from the river.
As we moored we spotted a sign that made us both laugh.
It is so funny to think something like this happens enough to warrant having a sign made.  I shared it with the guys at work and one came back to say he definitely wasn’t coming to France if he couldn’t shit on the pavement.
After the meeting we set the lock and headed for the Soane.  How lovely it is to emerge from the small waterways into a wide expanse of flowing water.  Such a relief to feel the breeze fresh on your face.
We headed for the first stop, Pontailler sur Soane but the small marina was already full and the mud we were churning up indicated a lack of water, so we decided to go onto the stepped town quay. We made two attempts at mooring but a worrying clunk each time confirmed a distinct lack of water as we touched the concrete base of the quayside. Onwards and downwards we went to the fairly new H2O Port Royal in Auxonne.  We were intending to try the public quay here too but could see it was full so I stood on the coachroof as we passed the port entrance, trying to see if there were any spaces inside.  At that moment a man and woman appeared from the harbourmasters office and beckoned us in.  Thank you John and Georgie, your welcome to the marina was very much appreciated.
John allocated us to the hammerhead berth on the first pontoon and we were relived that an unintentionally long day of travelling had finally come to an end.  After we all had a much awaited swim in the Soane  we strolled into town and found a very nice bar that just did escargots, bruchetta and salads.    I had bruchetta while Frank tucked in to a dozen snails.  It was one of those simple meals that seemed to be off the scale in terms of flavour and enjoyment of eating.  Perhaps it was just the long day but we left there very full, happy and relaxed.
The next day Frank declared a holiday was required so we booked to stay until Monday. Auxonne is a nice town containing the military base where a young Lieutenant called Napoleon climbed the ranks to become the famous leader of all France’s military might.
On Saturday Tim and Sharon arrived and we enjoyed a couple of hours (and bottles of wine) catching up with each other’s stories since we’d last seen them in Langres.  Eventually we all agreed it was time to eat and headed our separate ways – only to end up in the same hotel restaurant Le Corbeau.  We sat together and had a lovely meal of Irish beef and French fries – very cosmopolitan!  We also had a lovely evening getting to know each other better and having a few laughs.  So much so we were the last ones there and the waitress had cause to tell us to keep the noise down as there were people trying to sleep in the hotel.  That made us giggle a bit more and we felt it was time to beat a hasty retreat before we got another telling off.  We had a lovely evening with Tim and Sharon, but they’re a bit of a bad influence………
So, it is Sunday today and we are set to move on to St Jean de Losne tomorrow.  It’s been a lovely stop here but we’re both keen to see what’s next.

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