After Canal du Centre, we headed west, making a stop at Clamecy on the Nivernais Canal near the wild region of the Morvan. We stayed in the Auberge de la Chapelle, an inn built in a converted chapel. We had a really special dinner in the dining room which is the former chapel. We arrived early and spent the afternoon riding north on the beautiful wooded Nirvernais, which connects to the Seine. There were a lot of charter boats on the canal – and one right in the middle of the trail! They were also repairing the bridge that the boat struck. Somebody's holiday gone wrong.
Clamecy is a charming, very steep town whose main claim to fame is the fascinating history of the “floating forest”. In the 1500s Paris ran out of wood to burn, and turned to the ancient forests of the Morvan. Each spring a massive movement of logs flowed into Clamecy, where it was lashed into rafts which were guided down the river, arriving in Paris in time for the next winter. Each log was marked with a brand to secure payment. This odd industry thrived for more than 400 years only being replace by coal in the early 1900s. In the morning we rode south on the canal, where there are lots of artifacts