My Travel Blog

The Sweet Simplicity of Santenay

We are now on the Canal du Centre. In the past five years we’ve been on this canal three times.  Does the repetition make it boring? Of course not!  We might remember some of the villages or towns, but the scenery is constantly changing.  There are so many different places for Rabelo to moor we could do this canal a dozen times and never tie up in the same place.

The Canal du Centre is beautiful yet challenging for a boat the size of Rabelo.  As we exit some of the locks sometimes the canal make a sharp turn.  Sometimes our stern is still in the lock and the bow is pressing against the side of the canal.  There’s noting we can do except go slow and rub some of our paint off on wall of the canal.

One of our favorite stops is Santenay. The canal is actually above the village in a densely wooded area.  The sound of the birds in the trees, or the wind rustling the leaves is our favorite music to wake up to.  We love this little village with its flowerpots and small square with a fountain bubbling in the middle.  Some of the Santenay wines are also excellent.

Looking down on Santenay from the deck of Rabelo.

A lovely walk into the village of Santenay.

We had to wait for the train to pass on our walk to Santenay.

Lisa and I always enjoy our walks. The early morning walks are the best.  The light is better and the cool temperatures are certainly welcome.  We never know what we’ll find, but are never disappointed.  Sometimes we come across a beautiful old farmhouse or spectacular vista.  Sometimes it’s just some contented cows grazing in a field.  On a recent walk there were sweet ripe blackberries along the road.  We didn’t walk very far that day, but we did eat a lot of wild berries.

Lisa has been cooking up a storm lately.  Nathalie is a vegetarian so that has been a bit of a challenge for Lisa.  When we hired Nathalie and Alban we knew about Nathalie’s special dietary needs.  Nathalie told us not to worry, and that she would take care of her meals.  I knew that would never work with Lisa.  It didn’t take long for her natural motherly instincts to take over.  Over half the meals Lisa has been preparing are vegetarian.  It doesn’t bother me, as everything she makes is so good.  Last night we had pizza with homemade crust.

Lisa made a delicious vegetable pie for dinner surrounded by cheese and fresh baguette.

Some contented cows we past on one of our walks.

A chateau not far from where we went for a walk.

Picking fresh blackberries on our walk.

With Lisa spending so much time in the kitchen during the week she deserves a few nights off.  On the weekends I’ve been taking her out.  When you are constantly on the move, going out to dinner is always a new and challenging experience.  We tend to use Trip Advisor a lot, but even that can be hit and miss. If you thought that every restaurant in France was some amazing French culinary experience you’d be wrong.  Like in the states there are good restaurants and ones that are not so good.  In general if you are out in the country and find a good restaurant there is normally a great deal of value for the money you spend.  In fact I’ve been to a number of restaurants where you scratch your head and ask how can they offer the quantity and quality of food for so little?

Snails for Lisa’s first course.

And then there is always dessert.

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

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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.