contentedsouls

Join us on our travels around Europe aboard our Dutch Tjalk Francoise

  • Jill Budd

    After 6 years aboard our Narrowboat Matilda Rose in the UK, we took the plunge and shipped her across to Europe. After 2 years in Europe we knew we didn't want to return to the UK so took the plunge and purchased a 1902 20 mtr Dutch Tjalk called Francoise and are now continuing our travels of the waterways of Europe in a buxom wench

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On the move

Posted by contentedsouls on 15/12/2014

Our long awaited parts parcel disentangled itself from Amazon Christmas deliveries and cancelled ferries and turned up at Void poste on Saturday. G knew he was on a winner when he was greeted by Monsieur with jubilation as soon as he opened the door of the poste. I strongly suspect we are the talking point in these small villages in winter – or maybe that should be laughing point, but in a nice way. The mad Brits that live on their boat and travel in winter, ‘fou et excentrique’. So himself spent Sunday down the engine ‘ole whilst I cooked Sunday lunch (it’s been so long I struggled with the gravy!).

Amazingly, the VNF at Bar de Luc answered the phone on Sunday afternoon and we were able to book passage for 10.00 am this morning up the remaining 6 locks to the summit and the mouth of the Mauvages tunnel. Walking out with the dogs this morning the light was green on the first lock and, at 9.45, the eclusier drove down to us and checked that we were all ready to go as arranged.

Today was the first that we’d seen the sun in ages but it was mighty cold as we set off. I had so many layers on that I could hardly bend to untie the rope.

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We were escorted by Herons and an Egret (huge and white) up the flight. One of the Herons perched on the side of the lock wall and eyeballed G, completely unphased by our presence. 2 hours for the 6 locks and the sun stayed with us until we moored at 12.00. Each lock sets automatically once you set off.

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I walked Muttley and G positioned the car the other side of the tunnel – he had an almighty work out coming back over the tunnel on the bike and we’re going through with the boat in the morning. I’m hoping to helm this one for a bit a it will be reasonably large and the narrow ones have given me vertigo.

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We’ve only seen one boat, a commercial, moving up and down every 4 days ish – please don’t let me meet it in the tunnel tomorrow

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