Getting to the beginning of our barge trip was tricky but worked out great.
Check out early as we have a tight schedule to make the boat. First, luckily, the shuttle/van service (which are known to NOT be reliable in Paris) requests that we be picked up early, which we all agreed to; so a 7:30 am departure was made, taken to Charles de Gaulle airport, Roissy, to pick up our van rental. With all our luggage, yup, it was a good idea for this 8 passenger van. Quick pickup, very little paperwork on this end, and away we go, with GPS leading us out of Paris and on our way to Briare. Briare is actually our end point of the boat trip, but we are parking there to avoid having to go backwards to pick up our car at the end of the week (see map). In Briare, we have a 1 pm pickup time for a taxi transfer to the boat in Dompierre-sur-Besbre, our departure point on our Locaboat rental. We were early to Briare so we were able to walk around, grab a sandwich from the local patisserie and have a picnic lunch before being allowed to board our home for the next 7 days - La Collancelle, our penichette of choice.
We loaded up, including the groceries that we had pre-ordered, then also found the grocery store to ride our bikes off to for more water and WINE, bien sur!
To be cont'd