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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Osselle to Ranchot to Rochefort-sur-Nenon (Mon/Tues 16/17 Nov 15)

Posted by contentedsouls on 30/11/2015

8 LOCKS, 27 KILOMETERS

Again we left in brilliant sunshine with not a breath of wind. Given that we had totally failed in our attempts to book passage with VNF, we weren’t sure that the locks would even be switched on, let alone actually work. The first two managed to do both and provided a 5th telephone number for us to add to our file of numbers that are answered by fax machines (or not at all). The light was on at the third lock but it teased us for some time before it finally capitulated and started to set – we were extremely grateful that it wasn’t windy whilst we lurked as it made it’s mind up.

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Ranchot was a new mooring for us and, in season, has electric and water – neither of course were switched on mid November. The English translation in our Guide Fluvial said, “The port captain will pass by in the evening to collect mooring fees” – he didn’t. We rather liked this place; it has a Post Office where we were helped with our options for posting some very important documents regarding our house sale (although catching it actually open takes some doing), a small bar/restaurant (which opens regularly – even Mondays!) and the most amazing little shop which is a boulangerie, boucherie, charcuterie and epicerie all rolled into one. The only downside to this mooring for us was that we (royal we) had to lift the dogs in and out – probably OK normally, but we were quite a long way down due to the continuing low water levels.

We left there for an overnighter back at pretty Rochefort where, once again, I found myself dog walking in the dark. As we cruised into the third lock of the day a Kingfisher was happily fishing from the lock gate and completely ignoring our approach until, of course, I tried to take a photo; where upon he swiftly vanished.

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I liked the sense of humour behind the cartoons painted on the wall of one of the holiday homes overlooking the River.

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The flag in the village square was poignantly flying at half mast.

It was noticeable that the water levels were even lower than when we went up – there was no water at all flowing over the weir.

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