Monday, November 6th, 2000 On the road to Beaune
Left about 8:35 am. Drove all day to reach our next hotel: The Lady A by 4 pm. Definitely the most unusual "hotel" we've had. It's a Canal Boat that is permanently moored to the west of Beaune. The weather was raining most of the morning as we headed east. Trees still have lots of leaves: green, golden, and shades of red. Some of the branches are starting to show. Loads of mistletoe in tops of trees here. Don’t see them until the leaves fall! Too high up to reach to take some home for Christmas.
England is having floods, even in Shewsbury. The rivers are full here, but no floods. We drove almost all local roads until noon when we arrived at Clermont Ferrand and hit the autoroute. There the sun was out and we could see both ends of the rainbow. Plus we could see the Puy de Dome, which is the largest and central cone in a 4000-year-old extinct volcanic chain of 112 volcanoes stretching over nineteen miles. They start just west of Clermont Ferrand. Jim recognized the name as this is one of the mountains used in the Tour de France bicycle races.
Made it to Lyon about 2 pm and continued north towards Dijon. There was severe wind in the afternoon that really rocked us as we drove the autoroute. As we neared Beaune and again after Beaune the radio suddenly starting talking in French. We were playing music on one of the tapes that Jim had made before leaving home. Seems that the French have a system to interrupt radios (even while playing tapes) in automobiles to give emergency information to drivers!! Arrived at Lady A just before 4 pm.
The owners, Lisa Jansen-Bourne and David are delightful. She is Dutch and he is English. They’ve been together for 30 some years. No children, just sailing the high seas and canals all over the world. They built this boat by modifying a barge. They removed eight feet from the center of the boat to make it fit easier through the canals. They then remodeled it for six passengers only. Most of the canal boats hold up to 25 people. That was back in 1985. They cruised the French Canals until about 1993 when they moored in the harbor at Vandenesse-en-Auxois, a small French village located under the watchful eye of Chateauneuf, a French village and Chateau caught in the medieval times. They’ve been here even since as a B&B. Featured on many vacation television programs, books, etc. Even “Great Escapes”. Their dog is about five years old, a black mongrel that is named Kchu (?) which is tiny in Turkish. Sound like a sneeze! We found it accidently on the Internet and couldn't resist the lure of her name...
Talked for hours and had a delightful dinner with two bottles of wine, white and red. Turkey meat with a sauce from a Dijon chef’s recipe. Started to rain just as we arrived and continued to rain all night. David said we lost power for about an hour during the night. Lisa has a bookshelf full of novels so enjoyed reading another “mindless” book. We were the only guests aboard tonight so had their full, undivided attention. Only TV is in the lounge, but it does get CNN which will be nice for the elections. No individual telephones. Shower is the whole bathroom but it is larger than on the boat we had on our Midi River Cruise last year. Door to the bathroom is a shower curtain. Again, not much privacy! But another fun and different adventure.