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

  • September 2015
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Chaumont to Foulain (Thurs 17th)

Posted by contentedsouls on 21/09/2015

8 locks, 14km

I haven’t lapsed back in to not blogging – we just haven’t had sufficient WIFI signal to do anything other than read emails and words, not pictures, on Facebook. It’s likely to be Monday (so we’re told) before I can post anything or read/reply to any comments.

First thing Thursday morning I found a message from Sheila and Derek (NB Clarence) to say that they were only 45 minutes away from Chaumont in their motor home; Cyril. We explained that we’d booked our lockie for 10 am and therefore had to move to Foulain, so we agreed to meet there mid afternoon. Despite having been good boys and girls and booking before 3 pm Wednesday afternoon, I was just out of the shower when VNF called round to find out if and when we were leaving! I do wish they’d talk to each other. We pulled pins in the peeing rain and formed an orderly queue behind two cruisers at the first lock of the day because it had broken down. It was soon fixed, however, and the two cruisers went in together -we never saw them again as they, like everyone else, move a lot faster than us. The next lock was fine and, at the following one, we picked up our lockie for the day; a delightful lass on a posh moped. She was quite tickled when we explained that we only needed one gate opening! Like us, she was in full wets and couldn’t get any reprieve from the weather on a moped, but she never lost her sense of humour; we warmed her up with a cup of coffee and, eventually, the rain eased and then stopped.

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At our last lock we thanked her for her help and handed over some choccy bars and she passed us some peaches. We continued on to the delightful, and deserted, mooring at Foulain. A phone call from Sheila saying they would be with us at 5.30 left G time to cycle off to retrieve the car (and fetch bread and pastries) and me time to walk the dogs. Baxter was having one of his better days and managed a reasonably bouncy 45 minutes through the woods where we found some strange things in the middle of nowhere.

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Cyril arrived conveying Derek and Sheila and we opted to eat on MR – more time to natter than walking up to the restaurant, plus we were also still getting intermittent, but heavy, rain storms.

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Their drive to visit us turned out to be considerably more than 45 minutes – it took them 4 and a half hours. Chaumont sur Marne (where we were) was quite a long way away from Chaumont sur Loire (where they were)!! We, however, were very glad to see them and extremely grateful that they still made the effort once they discovered the ‘discrepancy’ in our relative locations. We worked it out that it was about 5 years since we last met up, so there was a lot of catching up to do. I hadn’t realised before that Derek is half French and therefore fluent, so I’m afraid we picked his brains regarding a few of the many things we didn’t understand. We’d hoped that they would be able to cruise with us in the morning but, sadly for us, they had to be in Le Touquet by Friday tea time.

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A photo for Facebook

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