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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Long to Samara

Posted by contentedsouls on 16/05/2015

Trying once again to avoid lunch time lock closures we left later, at 10.30, booking passage at 11.45 for the first lock. At 11.00 June had a phone call asking where we were. She explained that we’d booked for 11.45, not 10.45, and we arrived at the lock spot on time – no sign of either man or van and no lock landing so Temujin made do on the right and I slung a rope around a signpost on the left. Mike phoned to ask why there was no eclusier and got into the conversation that said they’d been there at 10.45! Mike’s French was well up for telling them how unimpressed he was and even more so when they said they didn’t think they could get anyone out until after lunch (1.30 plus digestion plus travelling time from depot).

Meanwhile I did my best to adopt a second ship’s cat who was extremely friendly but caused more than a little upset with Daisy and the boys when they met nose to nose through the saloon window!

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At 10 past 12 a lockie and his van arrived in a cloud of dust (dangerously close to witching hour) and locked us through. He told us that he’d had no knowledge of our lock booking. Such is life.

There was still a fair amount of debris coming downstream

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We had intended to moor after the second lock in the village, but the moorings were pretty much full so we continued back to the Samara country park, where we’d stopped when Kevin and Debbie visited, and stayed there for the weekend in unexpectedly glorious weather. It seems that we weren’t the only ones who didn’t expect it to be quite so hot as I passed out two bottles of water to different parched walkers – both of whom offered me money ( I had to decline the money as people were watching!). The menagerie really enjoyed the sun and the walking there. Mike drove back to the village in the morning to fetch the breakfast bread whilst Graham tormented everyone with the delicious smell of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Mike and June were outside welding on their skinny day; it can’t have been good for them.

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We sat and watched a dragonfly hatch but, as it dried out, one set of wings stuck together. Graham and Mike played Supervet, gently separating the stuck wings with welding rods. Mission successful it flew off – very satisfying.

When Daisy eats a mouse she leaves the ‘gizzards’ which we have to be very careful to clean up before Muttley eats them (they make him very ill). When I went to feed Daisy on Monday morning I found mouse gizzards in her food dish on the work top – she’d sneaked passed G with a mouse and put it in her food bowl to eat! That was a first.

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