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

Beaulon to Garnat-sur-Engievre (Thurs 21/04–Sun 24/04)

Posted by contentedsouls on 28/04/2016

Confronting my food issues and unexpected visitors

1 lock, 3 kms, 1 hour

Having, yet again, been deprived of my lunch out the previous day, I persuaded G to postpone his Thursday fast day until Friday. I cycled into the village ahead of himself in order to visit the butcher and grocery store before the witching hour – I needn’t have rushed though as neither closed until 1….. amazing! I chose my goods and put them on Monsieur’s counter (whilst he tried to persuade me to buy local cheeses and wine) before adding a box of 26 bottles of Kronenbourg. It was Monsieur’s turn to gasp in amazement at the strength of this woman who was, apparently, going to cycle back to the canal carrying this lot in her rucksack. Just as I was basking in the glory of his admiration of my Superwoman status, G turned up and spoilt it all.

We wandered across to the restaurant to join the locals sat outside in the sun where we learnt that today’s menu was Mediterranean salad followed by langue de boeuf, cheese, appley pud and coffee (no 1/4 bottle of wine with this one) at a cost of 13 euros. These plat du jour are in all the village restaurant/bars in this region and are kept very busy with local workers; no choices but cheap as they don’t have wasted ingredients and it keeps staffing to a minimum – you need to arrive by 12.15 or, basically, you don’t get fed. Those of you with some knowledge of French will have already picked up that the main course on this occasion was beef tongue. Having ducked the tete de veau on Tuesday and been thwarted by the lockies’ lunch hour the previous day, I wasn’t going to duck this one and committed myself to the set menu. G wasn’t in agreement however and, after discussion with the mine host, was offered a  beef steak – never a good idea when offered on the 13 euro menus – which he readily latched onto with the enthusiasm of a drowning man. There was much hilarity involved when we explained how we had been unable to handle the tete de veau option earlier in the week.

This is it and it was lovely (despite the presence of a slightly furry appearance), as was the sauce – G tried it and liked it too – and the pudding.


We wobbled back to the boat with heavily laden rucksacks and too much food and wine in our tummies, so Muttley and I decided to walk it off.


We had thought that we’d move on on Friday but after receiving a phone call from Kevin and Debs saying that they were back in France and would be with us later, we stayed put as Beaulon provides free hook ups for camping cars as well as boats.

I should probably mention, at this point, that we are heading for the Nivernais Canal but, to do this, we have to use a bit of the R. Loire just up a bit at Decize and it’s currently on stop due to flooding. If it doesn’t re-open soon we will have to change our plans and continue up the Lateral a la Loire, but that will make life a bit awkward for our planned visitors and the DBA rally in June/July. This is the main reason why we’re not covering much ground at the moment although, as you know, we’re never in a hurry anyway – I think that’s the difference between us and those that only cruise in the summer. The latter have to be in a specific place by the end of September ish.

The Dutch guys off of the Dutch barge came round for a drink late afternoon and Debs and Kevin turned up just after they left. The usual chaos occurred as Herbie erupted onto the boat – at least we have a bit more room for Herbie and Muttley to play in now – and the elderly Ted and Baxter tried to keep out of the way whilst shouting encouragement.


After the boys had settled down a bit, we sent the big boys out to play with Kev’s new toy whilst Debs and I put the world to rights over a bottle of wine (or two). We now have amazing aerial video footage of Francoise.


Our plans for Saturday went down the drain with the rain so, leaving the 4 boys on the boat (and Daisy safely separated!), we donned umbrellas and wandered into the village for lunch – I crossed my fingers regarding the main course option!

When we entered the bar it became fairly obvious that they didn’t do food on a Saturday but, being family owned and run and us having returned with friends, they quickly rallied and offered us tete de veau! After the joke they offered us 4 courses. We settled down with drinks and happily nattered, more drinks and more nattering, more drinks and some puppy cuddling – as they were cooking especially for us we didn’t like to hurry them but we were starving by this point.


After more than 2 hours we nominated G to find out if there was any chance of food before we passed out. In the adjacent room the table was laid out for our lunch (we didn’t know there was another room) and they, incredibly politely, were waiting for us to come through and sit down. We were waiting for our food to be bought to us in the bar!

The following morning it finally stopped raining and it was decided that we’d cruise on to Garnat. Debs and I left the fellas to crew the boat and have lock and mooring rows – it’s sooo funny when you’re not part of it. Kevin walked back with Herbie to collect the motor home and we set about some roast beef and Yorkshire puds for when he returned.


We waved goodbye and went to sleep – they were still on UK time so we hadn’t been getting to bed until gone 1 am our time.

5 Responses to “Beaulon to Garnat-sur-Engievre (Thurs 21/04–Sun 24/04)”

  1. vallypee said

    How lovely that they put on lunch just for you and then waited for you! Ok somyou were waiting for them too, but getting sozzled sounds like a good way of passing the time 😄


  2. Kevin TOO said

    I know that un menu à prix fixe can sometimes present an unusual mix of
    ingredients on your plate, but I don’t recall ever not finishing off my meal… 🙂

    So nice to see the boys, both 2 & 4 legged, enjoying their playtime together… LOL

    Couldn’t help but notice that beer only got 3rd place behind milk & coffee though… 😉


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