It's hard to know where to begin this week's blog. So much has happened and we've covered so much more ground than last week.
When we left Douai last Sunday, we said our farewells to the lovely folks we'd met there and turned right after the Douai locks to head up the Scarpe towards Arras. We'd managed to acquire the necessary remote control to operate the locks after Koos had been passed from pillar to post on the phone and eventually learned that we had to pick it up at the lock before the turning. The Scarpe proved to be a dream stretch of 24 kilometres to the end of the navigation. We loved it so much we spent two nights going up, a third night at the end and another night returning.
|Info board on the lock at Douai|
|Through the first lock on the scarpe|
|Leaving the industrial area at the beginning of the Upper Scarpe|
|Brebieres lock and mooring where we first noticed|
how clear the water was
|Our mooring at Brebières|
|Beatiful, dream like Upper Scarpe|
|Koos watching and filming TGVs from the comfort|
of the bank
At the end of the navigation, we spent the night at St Laurent de Blangy. We couldn't get all the way into Arras as the last two locks are no longer operating and the river has silted up. We moored up next to a children's water adventure centre and were hugely entertained by 'Chaos in Canoes'. The kids were organised into a sort of rosta of activities, so every hour or so a new wave would arrive and the high jinks and fun would start again. I laughed till I cried at some of the nonsense that was going on. It was wonderfully harmless, cheerful fun and even better, not a smartphone in sight.
|Chaos on Canoes at St Laurent Blangy|
|The end of the navigation at Arras - we couldn't get there by boat, |
but I walked to the end on this beautiful summer evening.
|The Hennie H on the Canal de St Quentin (I walked along|
the towpath to take this and some film footage too)
|Waiting to go in the tunnel|
|Leaving the light behind. Not to be seen again for 5.5kms|
Now we are at St Quentin for a couple of hours (or maybe the night). We still have a long way to go to reach the Somme, which we'll be approaching from the south this time, but at least I'll be able to say I've done the whole Canal de St Quentin and all the Canal du Nord by the time we head north again.
More from me as and when I can. For now, enjoy your weekend allemaal!