My Travel Blog

Culinary Creations Along The Petit Saone

As we continued up the Petit Saone the scenery just got better and better. There were times when the river was quite broad and other times when it was, well it was rather petit, very narrow. The villages with their red tiled roofs, and ancient stonewalls were as pretty as any we have seen. The pastures were green, and the forests were even greener. There were plenty of cows munching away at the grass as we lazily passed by. On occasion I would yell out to a curious cow that we should meet again for lunch at McDonalds. At the locks the locals, but especially the kids, had a myriad of questions about Rabelo. The one problem with rivers is that we really need a quay to moor at verses just tying up alongside the bank of the river. Unfortunately quays can be quite far apart. The good news is we have a car. If we see something while traveling on the river that strikes our fancy at the next stop we jump in the car, and off we go. The canals are much easier, as there are lots of places for us to tie up.

A wide open portion of the Petit Saone.

A much narrower portion of the Petit Saone.

Curious cows along the Petit Saone.

Another beautiful French village.

At the village of Conflandey we found this amazing place to moor. The village was so small they didn’t even have a boulangerie. That’s small. The quay was 100 yards up the canal from the village, so it felt like we were in the middle of the countryside. Next to us was a forest and on the other side of the canal was a cow pasture. In the morning an old man walked up to Rabelo holding a basket of fresh vegetables and fruit. He asked Lisa if she would like to buy something. We ended up with green beans and a box of mirabelles. Mirabelles are miniature plums that are beyond sweet. I pitted them, and Lisa made an amazing clafouti.

The best dessert ever.

We spent the weekend at Conflandey we liked it so much. Just a couple of miles from the little village was a larger village with a boulangerie, and a Mexican restaurant called La Cactus. A husband and wife team ran the restaurant. She did the serving, and was from Mexico. He did the cooking, and was from France. There may have been one other in the kitchen doing dishes, but if there was we never saw him. They took care of ten tables, and the service was just fine. La Cactus actually served Mexican food, pizza, and French food. We originally went there for the Mexican food, but ended up with moules (muscles).

Rabelo moored in the miniscule village of Uzemain.

Pizza with scallops at Auberge du Coney next to our mooring in Uzemain.

The main course of beef, lamb, and pork.

Our next stop was Port de Fouchecourt. There was a small marina that held fifteen boats up to fifteen meters long, and a quay on the river for a 39-meter barge like Rabelo. There was even a small restaurant at the marina run by a Frenchmen, and his Swiss girlfriend. The cost to moor overnight was 24 Euros, but if we ate at the restaurant it was only 12 Euros. We ended up eating there both nights. The first night the girlfriend served, and the Frenchman did the cooking and dishes. The second night the girlfriend had gone back to Switzerland to see family, and so the Frenchman did the cooking, serving, and the dishes.I don’t know how he did it. The food was amazing, and our food was brought out with a smile.

The Petit Saone just before we reached Fouchecourt.

Plenty of lawn gnomes at a lock house.


– Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.