26th June - 2nd July 2016
What a week to remember onboard the Luciole, joined by the wonderful Marinace and Tomas families. Organised by delightful Grandparents Joyce and Frank, they brought three generations along with them, all excited and raring to go, ready to face the adventures ahead. This group was very sporty and always on the move, using all the options the boat could give them to get around and experience the local environment. Cycling en masse was a daily outing, the kids blazing a trail with all the adults rushing to keep up, they must have cycling half the route over the course of the week, stopping to scale the impressive Rochers de Saussois and disappearing off the beaten track to explore nearby towns. Alongside the bikes we also have two canoes on board, exceptionally for this and the following weeks adventure charters, though with the amount of use they have had from both the family and the crew, I think they should become a permanent fixture!
Amongst the activities for the week we had horse riding, cave climbing, canoeing, zip lining in the trees, visiting Guedelon, a castle in construction using only medieval techniques and playing lots and lots of football. As well as our regular visits of Vézelay, Auxerre and Noyers, all beautiful towns and villages with various draws and attractions at each. The most memorable however may well be the most simple on this occasion, a nice "gentle" game of football near the boats mooring in the town of Lucy, where a game was played of epic proportions, all the crew and all the passengers making up two teams, it didn't stay so gentle for long! Captain Francisco fearing for his life being charged down by Lea and Ella, 12 and 13 year old girls respectively, our own hostess Amelia letting out a glimmer of her competitive side screaming for offside or disallowed goals, or worst of all our poor host George, reduced to limping off the pitch after a crunching tackle from 15 year old Lucas. Thankfully as we didn't have a referee we continued play as always, much to the dismay of our now very hobbly George. The final score 5 - 4 to the passengers!
On the final morning we were shown the real strength of this family, rescuing the boat in dramatic fashion from the bank at Lucy. The water level at this location has a tendency to drop over night, placing the boat very firmly onto the rocks by the morning, making departure pretty much impossible. If it wasn't for the combined efforts of all the men in the family, plus a few men of our own, dragging over 160 tons of steel off the rocks we may have had a lengthy wait for the water level to return to normal. It shows just what can be done with the right group of people, allowing us to carry on on our merry way along the river and ending the week in a familar and much missed location at the port of Clamecy.
Hotel barge Luciole
Cruising since 1976
Phone: 00 44 1625 576880
From USA: 011 44 1625 576880
23 Adlington Road, Bollington
SK10 5JT England
1-2 Quai de la Republique, Auxerre