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 30th, 2016

St Bouize and St Satur/St Thibault/Sancerre (mon 16/05 to 21/05)

Posted by contentedsouls on 30/05/2016

4 locks, 22kms and 9 hours (including shopping and re-fuelling)

St Bouize was one of those idyllic stops for us; perfect for the menagerie, lots of lovely walking alongside tiny rivers and an all things to all people bar/traiteur/depot du pain/epicerie, although we neither ate nor drank there.

Any of you that have met Muttley will know that ‘brave little soldier’ he aint and he did have a small misfortune. One shouldn’t laugh, but it was extremely funny poor sausage. He ran ahead of me onto a track which suddenly had low level electric fencing on either side – he put his nose on the live fence, screamed like a stuck pig, jumped backwards and then got a belt off of the other side straight up the bum. At this point he took off vertically and then came down in the middle of the track and refused to move, still screaming at the top of his voice – poor dog was traumatised for at least 5 minutes.


We expected to spend a few days in the Sancerre region and we spied our first decent sized supermarket in quite awhile. G hacked down some undergrowth and managed to get Francoise in and secured right across the road. By the time we’d sorted ourselves out though, guess what? Yep – closed for lunch. We dodged the traffic and re-fuelled main tank, genny and spare cans at the self-service (doesn’t close for lunch) and re-provisioned. The fuel strike was unknown at that point ,but we have not heard of any boaters having problems – it seems to just be motorways.


We found a good mooring without going into the 10 euro a night rubbish port – made even worse by road works in St Thibault causing traffic to divert passed the end of the ganplanks’ of the boats in the port. There were some sad sights in that port, particularly an aptly named narrowboat. Once again the walking in the area was brilliant, with access to the Loire.


We had lunch out in St Thibault on Thursday and contemplated how we were going to get up to Sancerre (that’s it; 4km up that hill – definitely NOT bikling country). Problem solved when Kevin and Debs turned up and stayed overnight, taking us up to Sancerre for a bit of sight seeing – you can’t come to this area and not visit. As Kevin had climbed the tower before, we left them too it whilst we huffed and puffed our way to the top – fortunately the cloud had lifted enough to make the climb worthwhile.


My three wise monkeys couldn’t even manage to get themselves in the right order – what a bunch!


We were all tickled by the loos at the restaurant where we had lunch – it was clearly meant for hobbits – the door came to somewhere around my armpits and it wasn’t a lot bigger inside.


Our visitors left Friday ready to pick up their canopy, which was being repaired up the road a bit, and return to their own boat. So I fitted in a bit more countryside before we moved on.


I don’t know if you remember, but there was another of these boats (apparently stranded) outside Never with no obvious way of reaching shore. I know I have some clever readers and I wonder if any of you know anything about these craft. At our next mooring there was something similar on the bank which allowed me to take a closer look.


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