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

  • May 2016
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for May 22nd, 2016

Beffes, La Chapelle Montlinard, Charite sur Loire (11/05–16/05)

Posted by contentedsouls on 22/05/2016

5 locks, 17km + 1 bike ride

Over these 6 days we have had the most dismal weather, some of it really cold and most of it wet; if it wasn’t actually raining we seemed to be in cloud. G’s work on the outside of Francoise has been mostly thwarted although it did stay dry enough for just long enough to repaint an unsightly patch of damaged paint above the waterline. We also had just enough sunshine to sit out on the back deck with a drink and our French neighbours before a storm broke – in consequence I have now added the French for ‘storm’, ‘thunder’ and ‘lightening’ to my struggling memory banks and, for reasons I can no longer remember, ‘halfway’. I have, subsequently, had plenty of opportunity to use the first three of my newly learnt words. We also met Guy and Ruth Toye and their son Raymond who are Brits who have lived in France for 40 years – Guy is the Vice Chairmen of the DBA and owns a tjalk moored at Chapelle Montlinard which still has it’s original mast and leeboards.

Very little of consequence to report; I continue to explore as much as I can and we continue to watch the swallows dipping and diving (especially now the Mayflies are hatching) with the bats taking over after dusk. So just a picture gallery really to allow me to catch up a bit.

We passed through the pretty port of Marseilles les Aubigny


and continued on to Beffes where the small supermarche closed for lunch from 12.30 until 4pm! Beffes suited us for a couple of nights as we were able to turn Francoise and get access to the other side – all our moorings for sometime seem to have been portside to bank. It didn’t particularly suit Muttley though as, everytime we went out we had to run the gambit of the local geese – not to mention goose poo! Daisy, also wasn’t very happy as she had to stay in for two nights and managed to get herself shut down in the engine ‘ole. We thought this poor little fledgling was a gonner to the cold, but it did live to fight another day. The Mayfly spent it’s entire life with us.


En route to la Chapelle we started to see working boats again and it was a bit disconcerting when I spotted this one coming around the bend as we’re no longer used to them – there was plenty of room though.


The mooring at la Chapelle was typical of the old silo moorings; not the most scenic but quiet and safe for the menagerie and the closest point to the bridge crossing of the Loire into the town of La Charite-sur-Loire which I wanted to visit on Saturday morning; market day.


We left on the bikes in cloud and were staggered at the speed and power of the Loire since we’d last clapped eyes on it.


I liked La Charite, a UNESCO world heritage sight, and we bought what we needed at the market, had a look round and enjoyed a beer and a waffle in a companiable, albeit steamy, little bar before cycling back.


G spotted these unlikely looking companions way up on the balcony enjoying a bit of time out


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