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

  • September 2015
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

Joinville to Donjeux

Posted by contentedsouls on 07/09/2015

After one final walk round Joinville (where I found chickens, chickens everywhere and ne’er an egg to eat), we loaded the boat with fuel and food and went to bed after glorious evening skies, ready to leave on Saturday morning.


Only 10 km and 4 locks to do, but 4 of these uphill locks are enough for anyone’s nervous system. It doesn’t matter which end you’re operating from they are horrible because they are deep, fast filling and very rarely have anything to tie off to. Most only have 2 bollards set back on the top which you can’t see and they don’t have the usual white markings on the walls to mark where to start ‘bollard fishing’ blindly, at full stretch, with a rope waving about on the end of a boathook whilst trying not to topple in. Oh well, just another 40 to go uphill!!!!!!! Downhill will be a doddle. I have no pictures of the insides of the lock chambers as they are no place to fiddle with cameras. Here we are though, waiting for a peniche to go up in front of us, outside this picturesque and innocent looking No 41 and one from one of the aqueducts we travelled on.


Saying about the peniche ahead of us; I couldn’t work out where it came from – there are no silos or anything on this stretch – and then we realised that it was the one that had passed us on our mooring two hours before we pulled pins and that we had caught him up! This canal is not very wide and not very deep and very shallow at the edges so even the empty ones go very slowly – instead of them overtaking us they are holding us up. Whilst G was making lunch I saw movement in the water reflection as I approached a bend; 2 frantic toots on the horn and MR was back in G’s safe hands. I’m quite cool now in deeper water, but not on this stretch – if MR goes aground because we’ve moved over to make room for a peniche, then it’s better for marital relations if G’s the one that grounds her! Incidentally, we were warned by VNF that we would encounter 4 fully laden ones today, but we never really established whether they were coming against us or going the same way – if it’s the former I shall jump and swim (or wade) for it; the latter and we might as well go back to bed for 4 hours (estimated speed about 1.5/2 k).

We arrived at the little Donjeux mooring at lunchtime; room for 2/3 boats with free electric, water and recycling. A really nice spot for all of us and we happily settled in for the weekend (incidentally the word is the same in French) to enjoy Burghley Horse Trials (me) and the Grand Prix (him). Not a lot happens in either Donjeux on the right bank or Rouvroy-sur-Marne on the left bank. What they did have, however, were some intriguing little buildings, a lot of flowers and the most gorgeous circular walk that encompassed them both, together with a lot of non-canal water. So here are some of the pics.


I know there are too many photos, but it was hard enough to cut it down to just these and I haven’t even included the donkey or the horses. G came with us for a little way giving Baxter a chance for a short walk and a paddle and then they left Muttley and I too it.

Incidentally, the strange looking items pinned to the barn door are, we think, wild boar trotters – don’t wince; jolly tasty it is too!

2 Responses to “Joinville to Donjeux”

  1. We must be seeing you soon! We have just done the Tunnel de Balesmes! Lovely blog – thoroughly enjoyed your scribblings! 🙂


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