Off We Go!

Cruising began again at the beginning of April, after the rather hectic fun of having some 40 folk
aboard Aquarelle to a ‘knees-up’ for St Patrick’s Day: some squash!- and then a lot of farewells, from days
out to lunches.
 Our first cruising visitors arrived just after we left, bringing spring weather with them, which we all enjoyed
as we wended our way along the Canal Lateral à la Loire through canal banks covered with carpets of
cowslips and violets. Various ‘caves’ were visited where they went in search of good wines to bring home;
their van was well laden when they departed!
A cousin came next, for too few days, as far as La Charité; we had a quick trip back to Ireland, and then on
we went via the Canal du Centre to Châlons-sur-Saône, where we picked up another two Irish friends who are
always ready for an adventure and joined us for an A.N.P.E.I. (French Inland Waterways Association,) Rally/
Cruise-in-Company, along the stunning River Doubs. Three French boats & Irish Aquarelle took part in a wonderful
 week: some wet weather, some very warm, sight-seeing, cruising,always together, eating in, eating out, a lot of
laughs, and close friendships forged. A total of 7 couples, we found we had all been married for a long time from
 30 to 43 years and to our original partners, becoming a rarity these days! We taught them line-heaving & wellie
throwing, they taught us boules. We ate ’French,’ we ate’ Irish’.  We were royally entertained by a Mayor.