Canal Latéral à la Marne

Tom Fenton and Faith Ressmeyer
Wed 22 Oct 2014 17:03
48 51.449N 4 28.815E
I should have started early this morning, but dawn found me in Paris, in an expensive garret room with no shower or loo, because I had missed the last train to Vitry last night. The remains of a hurricane delayed my flight an hour, passport control another half hour and the airport bus completed the frustration. Although the room was small, it was warm and the sheets and towel were clean, and I was comfortable enough.

I am reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, so if I sound odd it may be because I am trying to write like one, or all, of the voices in that excellent book.

This morning they had scheduled maintenance on the lines to Vitry, so I had to take one train and two buses. I arrived at Vitry about 13:00, and after unpacking, and a walk to Intermarché to restock the larder, I left at 14:00. With the light failing and the temperature dropping noticeably, I stopped at 18:00. In those 4 hours I have done 6 locks and 19 kilometres (which sounds a hell of a lot better than the 10 nautical miles it is).

I like the Canal Latéral à la Marne (so called because it runs beside the River Marne). This may be because (1) I have just returned from 5 days with Faith, and everything seems wonderful still, or (2) I ate well over the weekend, or (3) the weather is dry and sometimes sunny, or (4) the locks are further apart, or (5) the locks have opened to greet me, they have proper sides which respond to fenders, and plenty of bollards, their gates open swiftly, their sluices are gentle, their drops so little that I can stand up and lift the ropes off the bollards, and generally they seem much easier. Or perhaps I am just better at it than I was.

So, I stopped at a tiny place called Pogny, as the light was failing, and now to eat and sleep well before an early start.