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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Archive for April 25th, 2016

Pierrefitte to Diou (Tues 19/04). Diou to Beaulon (Weds 20/04)

Posted by contentedsouls on 25/04/2016

Flashers and food issues

2 locks, 7kms, 1.25 hours. 3 locks, 12 kms, 3 hours.

Pulled up in Diou in time to visit my second shop of the day in my perpetual hunt for veg – and all before lunchtime closing! Shortly after we arrived, we were joined by our neighbours from behind us in Roanne who were just stopping off for water before continuing on in the same direction as us. They had left Roanne just last week and already overtaken us. We were also joined by a large hire boat full of jolly French people and an Englishman – we knew he was English as his socks nearly reached his shorts. We wandered off to find the bar/restaurant and have a beer; the restaurant was really busy and I caught sight of the affeared tete de veau on someone’s plate. I have very eclectic tastes in food and enjoy a nice frog leg along with the best of them, however, the tete de veau was grey, gelatinous and wobbled alarmingly – there is something absolutely wrong about wobbling main courses – only puddings should wobble. The only way I could eat that would be blindfolded (which would look more than a little strange) and, even though I hadn’t tried it, I added it to my list of,  “things I won’t eat”. Not much of a list really as the only other item on it is andouilette – tripe sausage (I did try it and it’s gross).

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Leaving those two to soak up the rays, Muttley and I set off in pursuit of the Loire – we stopped to watch the football en route but the match had been abandoned.

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(I seem to have a major ‘tree thing’ going on at the moment)

A beautiful walk, but we had to turn back when the path was flooded by the encroaching Loire. Still an hour left to sit out and read.

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G started chatting to a local reporter in the afternoon and invited him back to do an interview at 9 am in the morning before we left. This meant my having to get up early – again – and parlaising Francais at that hour of the day and before coffee is not for me, so I left them to it and took Muttley off to find the boulangerie (which was closed) and, subsequently, the village store (which had no croissants) …. humph.

My spirits were quickly restored though as we approached the aqueduct by Dompierre. I was taking pictures of a strange looking ‘encampment’ when I heard a bell ring and a Tricolour was raised above the fencing. The holder of this flag was wearing only (and I do mean ONLY) tights over the area of his body above his knees and below his belly! My reaction to this was such that G turned round sharply taking Francoise’ wheel with him and clunked the beginning of the aqueduct. Here are the pics if you have a strong stomach!

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We just about recovered in time to straighten the boat and take photos from the aqueduct. We were I was hoping to have lunch in Beaulon but another boat came out from Dompierre and we then had to wait for the lock to be turned – this resulted in the lock immediately in front of our mooring destination being reached at 11.55 so VNF had gone to lunch. We waited just 50 metres from our intended stop over during the lunchtime and ate cheese and biscuits onboard instead.

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A pretty little town with most of the things you could need (including fresh veg).

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