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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Iuwy on the Escaut

Posted by contentedsouls on 01/06/2015

Our first day here was busy as we set off in the car to Cambrai in search of fuel for dogs, cat, boat, humans and to fill the gas bottle. It was gone 4pm before we returned and managed to eat some lunch and get all the shopping, fuel etc stowed away. Despite nearly dropping with tiredness I knew I had to give poor old Muttley a good walk and a chance to let his hair down whilst Baxter was content to snooze on the bank in the sun. I soon perked up though when we found a beautiful circular walk amongst little streams.

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An early night seemed in order but for some unknown reason I couldn’t sleep and I gave up at 2.15am and got up and read my book. Knowing we are only 2 days travelling away from our lift out and that we won’t get an update on it’s precise availability for another 3 days we can afford to stay here a little for some much needed R & R before the hard work starts.

I slept better the second night and felt a bit more myself. The fellers set off by car to the dry dock to see precisely when they would be ready for us – we had already been put back a month (and Temujin had been put back a year and a month; but that’s another story). Good job they did go in person because, despite ‘phone calls saying everything was on schedule, they hadn’t even started work on the boat that was supposed to be taking a month. Had Mike just ‘phoned, he probably would have been lied to again. After a complete change of plans and directions to get this blacking done and then being delayed another month of our summer I am not, as you can well imagine, a very happy bunny.

However, we have been given the location of a dry dock in Seneffe which, if it all works out, will be much better for the menagerie. We are 5 cruising days away (70k by car) and we think it’s coming free in a week or so which would work out perfectly – all this detective work has been massively helped by Anne and Michelle who have a mooring there and we met them last summer: they actually remembered G (without the boat) when he turned up there Saturday and have been so helpful in contacting people for us. G & Mike are off at tea time to, hopefully, sign copius pieces of paperwork and seal the deal. All being well, we shall head off to Valenciennes tomorrow en route to blacking; plan ‘J’.

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