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

  • February 2015
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for February 22nd, 2015

Moored at Conde-sur-Marne (Canal de la Marne a l’Aisne)

Posted by contentedsouls on 22/02/2015

Well, as you can gather it’s been a very busy February to date!

Sue and Vic arrived at Vitry-le-Francois station only 40 mins late having been slightly delayed in Paris. We stayed in Vitry a couple of nights before cruising off in glorious weather. Unfortunately, 5 hours into our second day’s cruise the engine started spluttering so, instead of heading on to Reims, as originally planned, we put in pins at Chalons-en-Champagne – a much nicer mooring as the Reims mooring is very ‘city’ whereas Chalons is parkland.

A good time was had by all and you can imagine the looks on their faces when Debbie and Kevin (WB Avalon) walked in. Yes it was cramped, yes it was noisy but yes we had an absolutely fabulous time! I am delighted to report that neither couple brought their dogs – the addition of 6 dogs would have been a bridge too far – Daisy was put out enough as it was. Particularly amazing for me as I haven’t set foot in the UK since leaving over 10 months ago.

All good things must come to an end and the Avalons left on Monday whilst we drove the No Problems into Reims station on Tuesday morning. An amazing amount of mileage by both couples to spend a few days with us – THANK YOU.

We spent a couple more days in Chalons recovering and getting the injectors serviced before leaving for a new Canal and friends Mike and June on NB Temujin who have a winter mooring at Conde (and I was worried that it would be lonely over here!). I must admit the Canal Lateral a la Marne, which we’ve just left, was very straight and not very interesting – although our stopping points have been lovely. I’ve walked a couple of miles up this new one and it looks much softer with a lot of trees and noticeably more bird song. We have just travelled through the Champagne region which, being all vines, has no hedgerows and, therefore, very few birds. Instead there are a lot of rodents so the skies are occupied by myriad birds of prey. I suspect our new canal will be a sharp contrast.

No Sunday lunch for us today, we’re round to Temujin for a curry which has given me a day off with plenty of time to walk my dogs and, finally, sort out and catch up with the blog.

The last few days seem to have been a whirl of provisioning, laundry and cooking so it’s been nice to have a quiet day in gloriously warm sunshine.

I’ll try not to leave the blog so long next time – sorry Kevin TOO.

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Life seemed to take on a bit of a slant in these pics – definitely the camera operator and not the boat

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Twist the hanging pole to the right and the lock will start to set – yet another means of lock operation; we’ve had actual lock keepers, remote control units, automatics (‘cept they weren’t) and radar beams.

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