Wednesday, 24 September 2014

14th - 20th September

Autumn has arrived in Burgundy, and with the change of the season come twelve new passengers from America to spend a week with us on the Luciole as we cruise from Clamecy to Auxerre, and a very nice week we had too! The green may be beginning to fade from the world to be replaced by the subtle yellows, reds and oranges of early autumn, and Tom the deckhand now spends each morning sweeping up the newly fallen carpet of leaves from every inch of the boat, but the sun is still shining, the weather is beautiful and Burgundy takes on a very different hue and atmosphere at this time of year, though as spectacular as always.

A garden of St. Pallaye showing Burgundies transition into Autumn.

Additionally this week we had new faces amongst the crew, we welcomed aboard the excellent Noemie joining us as a hostess and welcomed aboard but also bid a fond farewell to chef Damien joining us again just for the week to cover his close friend and our regular chef Marc's holiday. We all hope he enjoyed the week here as much as we enjoyed having him, and as much as our passengers certainly did eating the simply superb and delectable treats he prepared each day.

Chef Damien posing upon the back deck, the river Yonne by the town of Vincelles in the background.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

7th - 13th September

It's been a very active and extremely enjoyable week here aboard the Luciole, accompanied as we were by twelve wonderful people joining us from across the globe. Two Australians, two Brits and eight Americans made our merry and diverse group as we cruised from Auxerre to Clamecy in beautiful September sunshine.

The Luciole may have spent Monday to Friday navigating the waterways of the Nivernais canal and the river Yonne, but for the majority of our passengers it was more of a walking tour as so many of them chose to cycle, walk or jog alongside the boat and off into the distance. Once Don had taken his initial spin at Batardeau the first lock out of Auxerre, that was the tone set for the week as he was quickly joined by practically everyone at one time or another. You would have thought we had spent half the week cruising empty! Passengers just rejoining the boat every lock or two for a splash of something interesting to drink and keep them going as they headed straight back off down the tow path.

The most staggering feat was done on Tuesday as a group of six negotiated their way from the village of Accolay, the second nights stop of the route, all the way back to Auxerre in time to meet Anna before her tour of the cathedral. Perfectly on time as well. So well done to those brave few, it's actually the first time I've seen it done, but then barging is full of interesting little surprises.

 Cheese monger Xavier Didier in his Noyers fromagerie.

Pam outside the pottery shop also in Noyers.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

31st August - 6th September

The Luciole has been a hotbed of entertainment this past week as our latest group of passengers kept us laughing all day with their combined antics. That plus the presence of our very own John Liley for the first three days before his unfortunate departure back to the UK, meant we had a week of none stop jokes, anecdotes and fun.

It's always nice to see a group gel so quickly in the week, and be so close by the end. By the time friday came around and the traditional friday night toast was made, you could have sworn this selection of perfect strangers had known each other for decades, particularly so when the celebration cake and toasts were made to celebrate Clive's 80th birthday and Tony's 70th.

Tony, our resident joker for the week surprised us all and made quite the name for himself with his superb dance moves under the bridge of Pregilbert as he waited for the boat to pass. The following day the very lovely Charlie managed to walk off determinedly in the wrong direction without a soul on board noticing his departure. Thankfully he realised his mistake sooner or later, when he found himself in the mooring we had just spent the night at and decided it was for the best to turn around and catch us up. We were more than glad to hear the cheers and laughter that resonated across the water and up the valley sides as he finally reappeared on the horizon, earning himself the nick name wrong way Charlie, and a special place in our memories.

Passengers line up in the sun outside Auxerre's Place Saint Nicolas.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

24th - 30th August

Another memorable and extremely pleasant week aboard the Luciole, where we were joined by a charming contingent of both Americans and Brits, as well as a surprise guest in the form of Mr. John Liley, the owner of the Luciole. With John on board, joining Captain Francisco in the wheelhouse, cruises were made even more soothing to the gentle sound of John's tuneful whistling as he piloted us with grace through the locks and numerous obstacles, like a true veteran. After the cruising and the outings to the fascinating, beautiful or simply wine flavoured places Burgundy has to offer, the anecdotes of the barging world delighted and entertained passengers and crew throughout the whole week.

John Liley at the helm of the Luciole

We were lucky enough to be a part of Clare and Rob's 36th wedding anniversary, where all enjoyed champagne and a celebration cake to mark the occasion