Aug 10 The Briare Canal

The 4 canals that make up this route from the Rhone to the Seine (Canal du Centre, Canal Lateral de la Loire, Briare Canal, and Canal du Loing), have the much shorter sections of the Briare and Loing at the northern end. Each about 55km in length, the Briare is a summit canal, connecting the watersheds of the Loire and the Seine.

The peaceful, rural character of the Briare canal

The Loing is a lateral canal, following the valley of the Loing, until it joins the Seine. This year, this canal route is the only one remaining open because of the worst drought for France in a long time. Fortunately for me, they are pumping water from the Loire river upwards to the summit of the Briare canal, and keeping it open. The water levels have been reduced, which makes for some uncomfortable noises as the keel of my boat drags along the gravel in places. It is also incredibly hot: more than a week of temperatures above 35C. There was a thundershower last night which certainly helped cool things down, but today is again hot, and very humid!

The summit reservoir of the Briare Canal, with morning mist, right beside my mooring place

the old lock staircase, replaced with separate locks when they were enlarged to frecinette standard (38m long by 5m wide)

About Ed Mortimer

I'm a retired school teacher, now living on my Dutch cruiser in France. I'm touring as much of the canals and river systems as I can. This blog describes what I do and where I've been. I did spend 5 years on first a narrowboat, and then this boat, in Britain.
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