• Fête des bateaux – Le Thoureil

The last Sunday in April is always a celebration of life on the Loire in days gone by. Traffic and commerce on the river has long gone but increasingly we are seeing lovely handmade wooden boats that are replicas of  boats that would have worked on the river.  There were boats for fishing, for dredging the sand, transporting animals to the islands for grazing, moving people from one side to the other, guide boats and even one way boats that were broken up and sold for their wood at the end of the journey.

Yesterday was the annual Fête des Bateaux.  The weather was pretty awful but this didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the boatsmen and women who gathered in the pretty riverside village of Le Thoureil to celebrate life on the river.

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A toue cabané – these boats were used for fishing.

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One of our favourite houses by the riverside – the Manoir des Hollandais.

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Dramatic colours in the sky as the weather turns from sun to rain and back again.

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Just loving the coiled ropes.

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Boats these days have an engine but would rely on wind power in the past.

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Enjoying a ride on the river Loire.

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A great chance to sketch.

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A good turn-out despite the disappointing weather.

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A group enjoying a ride on an old toue sablière – a sand dredging boat.