Barge Nilaya glides gracefully from place to place at the very sedate and relaxing speed of 4 miles an hour.
So slow in fact that you can easily walk or cycle and get ahead of her. Speed is not what barging on the rivers and canals of France is all about. What it is about, is a week of tranquil lazy days, cruising through ever changing scenery, relaxing and leaving the stresses and speed of your normal life so very far behind.
Sucking in the fresh air, soaking up the beautiful vistas and admiring the varied bird life and natural surroundings as you glide so very gently through it.
Sometimes we moor in towns, cities or small villages, but other times in places so isolated that they are unreachable other than by boat.
Most times neither the barge or anyone aboard has visited the places we arrive at or cruise through. This makes it a real adventure. Both owner Kevin and his crewmember are just as interested and excited about the new place as are you.
The canals of France, much like those of the UK are a treasure trove of history. Many have been in use since prehistoric times as trading routes although commerce these days has sadly declined to the point where it has almost vanished, particularly in France.
Signs of the past are everywhere from the buildings, bridges and artifacts left behind.
The pace of life is slow and the waterways magnificent. The UK canals are like the M1 motorway at rush-hour compared to the tranquility that abounds when you enjoy a barge cruise over here.
Just imagine. Breakfast taken high on your barge deck each morning followed by cruising at a slow pace, a lovely light lunch followed by an afternoon snooze followed by an afternoon stretch of the legs, maybe popping in for a cold refreshing beer to quench the thirst before gearing up for a shower, bank side barbeque or repairing to a local hostelry for your evening dinner.
After such a tiring day you are sure to be in bed early. It's the fresh air and lack of stress. Guests report that they've had some of their best nights sleep aboard the barge.
Why not sample it for yourself?
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Barge Lady A cruises no more and being permanently moored on the beautiful Burgundy Canal at Vandenesse, offers bed, barge and breakfast accommodation as a 'Gite de France'
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