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  • Day1187

    Beautor, Canal de la Sambre à l'Oise

    September 26, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    Beautor's three place aire is less scenic and noisier than the one we left this morning but the town has made an effort to present it well, with potted palms and red geraniums tumbling out of large hanging baskets.

    Opposite is a brick built hub for council workers. Hi-viz gardeners flow in and out with their tools. The real advantage of this position is its proximity to the the wide Canal de la Sambre à l'Oise which, unlike the muddy brown cuts of the West Midlands, has an uplifting turquoise hue, probably due to limestone in the soil.

    Though rain still falls intermittently and the fish are in hiding, Will still makes the most of the chance to be outside with his fishing rod. One of the things we love about canals is that they often form 'green corridors' through otherwise urban areas. Yesterday Will caught sight of a Kingfisher in flight and on today's evening stroll we found a stretch of towpath had been made into a health walk, with plantations of tall grasses, flowers and bushes between various wooden exercise stations; a slalom, beams and rungs.

    With autumn equinox behind us, we are really noticing daytime hours diminishing. As the weak morning daylight filtered feebly through the overcast sky, Vicky walked away from Beautor where the waterway was lined with thick, mature woodland. Quiet for the most part, she did spot a Coypu nibbling at waterweed near the bank and passed by two barges preparing to cast off. On the return journey, one was docked at a grit yard, its holds being filled via an overhead loading arm.

    Keen to make a dent in the 600km between us and the Swiss border we stayed just one night at Beautor.
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