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This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

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    This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

    This is the beginning of my report about our houseboat trip on the "Canal de Nantes à Brest".
    We rented a boat in Redon and drove up to Pontivy (Ivy's bridge). The canal follows the river Oust, then climbs about 50 meter high on the Hilvern saddle and descends down again in the neighbour valley of the river Blavet. This hill crossing makes the passing of 55 locks necessary and was the fascinating task of this tour. In Pontivy at the Blavet we wanted to turn and head back again to Redon. On the Oust are further 35 locks, so the whole trip included the total amount of 180 locks. I am quite sure that there is no route in Europe with more locks on such a distance.
    This tour is proposed for a 2 week turn, we had not that much vacation, because we needed to count in 2 days of travelling the 1.000km from Stuttgart to Redon and back. So i rented the boat for 11 days (week + mini-week) and we had to hurry up a bit.
    On Whit Sunday we started, 5 bicycles on our trailer, at 5.30 and reached at 12.00 Paris. Because of the holiday we thought, it is no problem to pass Paris without the working day traffic. Baaah! It seems that all French people had a rendez-vous on the périphérique. We lost one hour in a massive traffic jam. Soon after Paris we had empty roads again (quite logical, we saw, where they all were) and we proceeded quickly - until a small village in the middle-of-Brittany blocked the only road to have their Whit Sunday parade. We are a maritime forum, and so they had also a maritime float, which i will show here as first picture:



    After 30 minutes they reopened the road again and we could finish our journey. We reached Redon at 7 p.m., after 13,5 hours. Not too bad.

    Since you take over a houseboat always in the afternoon, we used the next morning to do some shopping and visited after that the menhirs of Carnac:



    Astonishing, which amount of menhirs Obelix produced inbetween his battles against the Romans.

    Last edited by Ralf__; July 6th, 2012, 09:06.
    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

    #2
    Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

    It is a must for my family to hold the feet into the sea, if we are close to it, so we had a short trip to the shore. A lot of yachting traffic. In the background you can see the peninsula of Quiberon, famous for the beautiful sand beaches.



    A lot of campers in motorhomes enjoyed this wonderful sight. As you look towards west at this place you can expect a marvellous sunSET (here we are again).



    During our walk through the centre of Redon we saw this boulangerie leaning against the neighbour shop.

    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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      #3
      Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

      This time i rented a Nicols 1160, a fine boat with very practical interior. The best way is to have a look at the Nicols site:

      http://www.boat-renting-nicols.co.uk...0_810-11.html#

      There are wonderful panorama pictures of the interior and the cabins. Check this:

      http://www.boat-renting-nicols.co.uk...cols/3en11.htm

      Our base was seated in the south of Redon, you can see it on the map where the crane symbol is beside the anchor symbol.
      Our first meters were through the town harbour (Grand Bassin), pass the first lock, which is at the same time a drawbridge, then turn left and pass a narrow bridge and a floodgate. Nice job for the first meters steering a ship since one year...


      You need the river map on a ship because it shows where to drive, moore, pass the bridges, locks and where you get electricity, water, where to find shopping possibilities and so on.
      Last edited by Ralf__; June 15th, 2012, 15:43.
      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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        #4
        Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

        Now you can see it in real. The town harbour.



        The lock with the drawing bridge on top. It is operated by a person in the harbour tower.



        Lock open, bridge closed.

        Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

        Comment


          #5
          Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

          The bridge has to be opened before the water flows in, otherwise we would have a collision with our roof.



          Bridge open, lock open, ready for departure.



          These amateur captains sometimes look a little bit tensed...



          A few kilometers up the river we reached our place for the night. A mooring place in the middle of a nature resort, the "Ilé aux pies". The bakery excursion to find the shortest way to the morning croissants has already been done. You can see that, because the bike is parked outside.



          ...to bee continued...
          Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

          Comment


            #6
            Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

            Channels - actually I'm quite unfamiliar with them, so this will be a very interesting thread to follow.
            #5:3, yes the Captain looks a bit concentrated.
            #5:4, a bumper boat, perfect for rental companies!
            Great beginning of this thread!

            Now I'm off to the next sea...trip report follows in a couple of weeks...

            Comment


              #7
              Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

              well well,this wil be a nice trip to follow.
              a lot of work for you with al those locks.
              start the fun,please
              best regards Thijs

              Comment


                #8
                Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

                Marvellous! SO many locks, and what a start with that lock plus drawbridge combination! Yeap I’m with Tommi in the favourite photos list …they are sure determined not to scratch the paintwork!!!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

                  Thank you all for the encouraging words. I will comment the bumper boat more detailed later. Generally you are right. The boats often have captains with less talent and so they have to withstand a lot of bumps.

                  The next morning started with wonderful weather and the most boring 5km of the whole trip.



                  Time to switch from working days modus to vacation feeling.



                  A lot of misteltoes for the gallic druids.

                  Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

                    Some of the crew members received navigation instructions and had steering lessons.



                    This flood gate marked the end of the channel section and we returned on the river again.



                    Steering on a river ist much more comfortable than on a canal. On the river the boat follows the main current and less steering is necessary. On the canal you need more concentration, the wind has more influence. It is not easy to steer straight.

                    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

                      This boat has also an outside steering stand at the top. Perfect for the kids (...and the captain could do some corrections, without being seen...).
                      Here our little E., the daughter of our friends, who joined us on this trip.



                      The pictures were taken by the whole crew and it is quite impossible to give the credits the one or another specified person. I guess it was my daughter, who found the turning water at the stern of the boat, taken from the roof, as an interesting motif. And so do I.



                      We passed a small harbour and some private boats. Quite an amount of former "bumper boats" are owned now by private persons and moored along our way.

                      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

                        The beginning of the trip had only a few locks, to get slowly into it and so we had the opportunity to take some other pictures.



                        Brittany has really wonderful flowers and we will see a lot of them.



                        Soon we reached the next weir, or to use the same word in French and English, barrage. Notice the sign with the arrow on the left, there we have to pass through the lock.

                        Last edited by Ralf__; July 6th, 2012, 09:14.
                        Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

                          We have already been noticed and the lock is open. You can see at the waterline in the lock, how far we will climb up in this lock.



                          Now in early June, the flowers in the locks ar not grown up yet. That is a disadvantage of this season. You can see the amount and only imagine, how it looks like in August!! That is a pity. Now in the lock, two crew members have to moore the boat and hold it a long as the water is flowing in the lock. You may not fix the boat, you must hold it because of the changing water level. But more lock details will follow bit by bit.



                          The wild flowers were in blossom everywhere.

                          Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

                            The girls were quite busy taking pictures of flowers. And i will dedicate all these pictures to the garden-patch-followers.



                            Time for our lunch break and for some shopping. You have to do that, because the lockmasters have this break also. Official time 12.30 to 13.30. In real you will have the last passage around 12 and may start again at "deux heures et quart", about 14.15. So don't hurry up, just relax. This is vacation!



                            Here a side view of the boat. It is 11,60 meter long and 3,70m wide. The locks on the canal are 26,40 meter long and 4,70m wide. That means, you have 50cm at each side, but there are also the fenders, which cut off 30cm. So there are about 20cm on each side. To enter and leave the lock without scratching the fenders along the wall is the task for the captain.

                            Last edited by Ralf__; July 6th, 2012, 09:16.
                            Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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                              #15
                              Re: This is Brittany - 90 locks to Ivy's bridge

                              And we pass another lock.



                              A lot of the lock masters have dogs, each time an event for the girls. "They are sooooo sweeeet."



                              In the afternoon we reached Malestroit, one of the greater villages on our way.

                              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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