5 Locks 25 km
After a late start related to last nights alcohol abuse we stroll through Malicorne in order to do our shopping before the imminent weekend lock down. Malicorne is the quintessential French small town far away from Paris, and in fact anything else. Even so the square displays some civic pride.
We bid farewell and steam upriver, as we are on mission today. The child has be collecting every single leaflet advertising a zoo in every single tourist information. The only zoo that is even vaguely near our route is located in Spay, just a few miles short of Le Mans.
Talking to the eclusier at Spay lock she tells us that she will phone the zoo director as she is a friend of here and we will get a discount. So we set of through the scorching lunch time sun to walk the 5 km to Spaycific Zoo. And it is really worth the effort. Its quiet different from any zoo I have been so far. Although you could say its a bit provincial, its totally unique in the selection of animals they display. From Dingos, huge tortoise, spiders and snakes there is all kind of stuff. The highlights really are the “enclos d’immersion”, enclosure you can actually enter. So you not only watch the animals through a fence, but can move between them. Particularly are the enclosures with bats and the ones with the Wallabies. The child loves the Dingos.
When we arrive at the zoo we are immediately recognised as the “boat people”. And we get the offer the be chauffeured back to the boat once we have finished our visit. So we are spending a really unique afternoon in this treasure trove of a zoo. We buy a cuddly toy hand puppet, for the lock keepers child from yesterday. The the zoo director himself drives us back to the boat. So if you get even vaguely near Le Mans have an outing to Spaycific Zoo.
From our makeshift mooring next to a bridge on the lateral canal above Spay lock we turn round and sail a short stretch downriver to the village of Fillé.
Here we again meet the Israel naval detachment and later a boat from Switzerland arrives. So we have another nice evening killing a few bottles of red.