Thursday, may 20th, Leaving Lyon to Valence
Thursday morning before we left Lyon, Ken and Mark walked to the Gare station to get a return schedule from several locations situated along the Rhone. Mark and Mark’s two days with us would be factored around where we could be Saturday morning in time for them to catch this return train to Paris.
Armed with this information our informal plans were to stop in Les Roches de Condrieu, a nice little marina across from the town of Condrieu. (a fine wine community). We would stay Thursday night and then Valence Friday night. They would then take a taxi to the local Valence GARE station for their trip to Paris. This part of the journey was wide Rhone Rivers and very deep locks. We only hit 2 locks on Thursday, one being Pierre-Benite.
We motored about 40 kms this day and arrived in Les Roches de Condrieu with a 3-4 knot current at our back. The “men” went to explore across the river some local wine shops and returned with a small assortment of Rhone wines, stating that the shop keeper would deliver any wine we would purchase the next morning right to our boat. (we already are deeper in the water due to our earlier wine and champagne purchases so I was not as excited as they were). Dinner at the nearby Hotel Bellvue, and then preparation for Fridays departure.
Friday, we pulled over to the diesel dock, fueled up and decided to for-go the “wine shopping” trip. We had 72 kms to go and 3 BIG locks to maneuver. Being in the Rhone river meant we sometimes had to give-way to the large container ships when they approached a lock. Most of the time we could still squeeze in, but it could be a potential delay of 1-2 hours. The day went well, we had fun in the locks and we arrived in Valence around 5:30. Valence is an old ancient town featuring a 17th century cathedral. Our quay was downriver of the bridge so we did not experience the city. The marina was small and I think we found the only space that would accommodate a boat of our size. After checking in to the Capitianare, getting the shower combo and making the taxi arrangements, I made salmon cakes and large greek salad for dinner. We ate in the cockpit and this was the very first time we could the entire trip due to weather conditions. Especially fine time for me!