My Travel Blog

Our Last Stops On The Burgundy Canal

From Bussierie-sur-Ouche to our next stop at Pont d’Ouche was just a short three-hour cruise.  We had been told to call ahead to make reservations, as the marina tends to fill up.  When we arrived the place Sonia, the owner of the marina, had reserved for us required me to back Rabelo into a very tight spot with boats crowding the channel.  Maneuvering our big baby in reverse always makes me nervous, especially when there are boats near by. Somehow, I managed to back into our mooring without squashing a single boat with Rabelo’s heavy steel hull.  I do miss the sound of splintering fiberglass in the morning.

A tight fit for Rabelo.

Sonia’s place with great pizza and Wifi.

Our mobile hotspot did not work very well in the Ouche Valley, so we had been out of contact with friends and family for a few days.  Pont d’Ouche was a nice change with excellent Wifi and great pizza just a few steps from our mooring.  Unfortunately I’ve been spoiled on the Burgundy Canal and have yet to pay for tying up.  Sonia is an attractive, friendly businesswoman, and knows she has a captive audience.  She charged fifteen Euros for the mooring, four Euros for each 1,000 liters of water, and twenty Euros for electricity per night.  I really shouldn’t complain that it cost me thirty-five Euros a night plus water.  Besides, Sonia has a great smile.

After Pont d’Ouche our last stop on the Burgundy Canal was Vandenesse en Auxios, or just Vandenesse.  When we chartered the barge Papillion six years ago we started our voyage in Vandenesse, and I never forgot how beautiful it was. Built on a hilltop overlooking Vandenesse and the Ouche Valley is the Castle Chateauneuf. Surrounded by fields of verdant green and speckled with white cows it belongs in a fairy tale instead of a travel blog.  We have been on other canals that are just as pretty as the Burgundy Canal, but the trip from Dijon to Vandenesse was spectacular.  Just past Vandenesse is the summit pond or the highest pond on the canal. There is a tunnel there that we cannot go through, as we are too big.  Papillion just made it through the tunnel six years ago, and once on the other side the canal is not nearly as pretty.

Entering Vandenesse with Chateauneuf in the background.

One of the many white cows of Burgundy.

The beautiful little village of Vandenesse.

When you are on a hotel barge one of the things you might miss is the local food.  Don’t get me wrong, hotel barges have incredible chefs that will feed and serve you wine and liquor until you can’t eat or drink anymore.  What I didn’t know was that there are a couple of very nice restaurants in the tiny village of Vandenesse. Café Restaurant was at lock eight next to where we tied up.  It serves a four-course lunch for just fourteen Euros.  It’s nothing fancy, just a good home cooked French meal.  The other restaurant is much fancier, the food is excellent, and yet the prices are still reasonable.  Unfortunately I can’t remember it’s name, but you can’t miss it as the village is so small, and it is only fifty yards from lock eight.

Enjoying my 14 Euro meal at the Café Restaurant in Vandenesse.

A rainbow on the Canal de Bourgogne, or Burgundy Canal.

A beautiful spot on the Burgundy Canal

A moment to reflect while on the Canal de Bourgogne.


-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.