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

  • April 2016
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

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).


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.


(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.


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!


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.


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


9 Responses to “Pierrefitte to Diou (Tues 19/04). Diou to Beaulon (Weds 20/04)”

  1. andywindy said

    And I thought it was us Brits who were meant to be eccentrics! Not a picture you’d want to expand a second time maybe.
    Otherwise lovely pics again Jill, Francoise really does blend in more than a NB would, and there’s nowt wrong with Trees. I see what you mean about the Loire being a little high at present!


  2. Kevin TOO said

    Since when has Baxter started following boaters blogs on the tablet ?
    He looks really bored though, bet I can guess which blog he’s reading… LOL

    Nice to see Muttley enjoying the water too, is he playing water polo?
    So I wonder what is the correct French term for ‘voyeuristic kerb-crawler’… LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not bored – frustrated as he ran out of charge!
      Muttley likes a ‘deep paddle’ but still sinks rather than swims so won’t go out of his depth by choice.

      Have you tried putting voyeuristic kerb-crawler in I -Translate? He’s massively distracting right as the canal narrows for the aqueduct and lock

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Paula said

    I’d love to say you got more than you bargained for but maybe not eh…… Paula

    Liked by 1 person

  4. vallypee said

    Looks like the Loire is getting greedy there, Jill. Still, you had sunshine and could sit outside! Wowee!! I can’t remember the last time we could even duck out on deck without breaking into violent shivers. Lovely post and photies!


  5. vallypee said

    PS, those cushions are almost unbelievably white…..*shakes head in amazement*


    • Hi Val (just finished reading your book “The Skipper’s Child” last night – good read), We’ve had quite a lot of days where we’ve been able to sit outside – it’s just very recently it’s turned bitterly cold. The cushions are a soft cream supplied by the previous careful owners – since our occupation with 2 dogs and a cat we’ve managed to get one covered in mould and loose one overboard. It doesn’t take long for us to trash a place!
      Glad you liked the pics – struggling at the moment as my camera is playing up.


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