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

Riaucourt to Chaumont

Posted by contentedsouls on 12/09/2015

5 locks, 9 km

We were moored immediately below the lock at Riaucourt and, hence, any traffic had to pass extremely close to us. Yesterday we had a rather rude awakening when an early peniche came passed us which knocked the rudder across with a clonk. It frightened Muttley half to death and he shot out of the saloon and landed in the middle of the bed with the cat! Once he’d recovered from his fright (and Daisy) he thought that it was terrific fun and started wriggling and kicking – needless to say we got up.

By the time I’d walked the dogs and we were ready to leave we had to wait for a peniche which was on it’s way down; I know it was empty so ‘sitting up’ but it looks huge from this angle. An uneventful cruise in the most perfect weather arriving at Chaumont late lunch – we were passed by one peniche and one cruiser. We’re actually moored just short of the halte fluvial so are away from the other boats and multitudes of motor homes. It’s mostly the faster cruisers that are left now; they are all flocking to migrate to their winter moorings and (most of) the boaters are departing to all parts of the world. Soon it will be just us and the peniches again.


We were up early again this morning (by our standards anyway), dogs walked and heading for the market in Chaumont by 9 am. If we’d left at our normal hour the market would have been done and dusted.

I left G queuing for the meat whilst I queued for the veg. The queues were long and no one was in a hurry – there was plenty of time to straighten the odd leek or turn a potato in between serving each person. Madame had plenty of time to give me the correct word for sweet potato (rather than my guess at ‘potato sugar’) and fine tune my pronunciation of spring onions. I just love the colours.


By the time we’d filled our bags with fresh goodies I was starving. I ‘d had no breakfast due to the early start and, at the moment, my appetite is enormous. When we came out my nostrils were assailed by the smell of roasting chickens and it was all G could do to stop me savagely attacking them whilst they were still on the spit. He placated me with coffee and a snail – a circular thing stuffed with raisins.


We then set off to find the viaduct that is promoted all over the place – it was quite impressive.


600 metres long, 52 metres high and 50 arches. Completed in 1857 by 2,500 men with the assistance of 300 horses all working night and day. It was damaged in 1944 but repaired fairly quickly and has featured in a fair few movies. Don’t yawn, it’s taken me bloody ages to translate that lot – I had to look some of the words up in the dictionary!

After that it was the usual supermarket shop – the last one was 10 days ago so the cupboards were pretty bare. We just finished unloading the car as it started to rain at last. So that’s us for today, an early dinner then flags and song sheets out for our traditional ‘Last night of the proms’ – now you know why we are moored by ourselves! Sadly we won’t be joined by our Aussie mates this year as they have already migrated.

2 Responses to “Riaucourt to Chaumont”

  1. andywindy said

    Wonderfully descriptive blog again Jill, THANK YOU for the translation of the details of the viaduct, these things matter to us anoraks. Those were rather large snails, though Graham does look as if he’s thinking that if you don ‘t hurry up taking the photo he’ll have both! What a beautiful light and airy Market, so much better than the ones I’ve experienced back here in England.


    • Jill Budd said

      Hi Andywindy, I know there are a few anoraks amongst my readers and it is good for my French. The steak G bought in the market was heaven on a plate.
      No one takes my snail and lives!!!!


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