After a lay day in La Ferté sous Jouarre we were ready to continue on, and although the day was overcast we decided to risk the rain and be on our way. It would be another day without the canopy, as we expected bridges which would need the mast down, so we would be at the whim of sun or showers. As it turned out the weather was kind, but the minimum bridge height was 5.3m so we could have left the canopy up after all. This stretch of the river includes the start of the automated locks, and we found little competition from barges or other boats.
The Halte Nautique at Nogent l'Artaud looked recently improved with a new landing stage supplementing a former quay and free electricity which could be opened by collecting a key from the nearby train station. Although the regular trains did cause some disturbance, the proximity of the station would be handy if you wanted to go somewhere, or meet someone. There was space just for a single boat, although with two electricity points provided, it is presumably the intention that boats could raft up.
The village had tried hard to promote its services, which ran to a pizzeria, two boulangeries, two boucheries, two epiceries and a three-venue chateau retirement complex. Unfortunately, an 18 month programme to replace the storm drains and water pipes in the main high street had reduced the place to a chaotic mess of sand and pavement rubble.
Just inside the Champagne region, the village has its own producer whose economical offerings were for sale in the local convenience store, and whilst the cave may have been accessible to visitors with transport, on foot it was rather too far for an excursion. Had we arrived in the village nine days earlier, we could have seen the spectacle of the Tour de France passing through, on its fourth stage from Champagne to Chablis.