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

  • June 2016
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for June 8th, 2016

Beaulieu. Decisions, rumours and mis-information.

Posted by contentedsouls on 08/06/2016

2 weeks today we’ve been moored here now and, for the last couple of days, I’ve been able to get out and about again with Muttley who has suddenly decided to become a bit of a water baby. I was actually able to get down to the Loire again but kept Muttley’s lead on as, if he’d lost his footing, he would have been swept away and never seen again!


After a day and a half of sunny, sticky, humidity; we copped this lot yesterday

P11600192016-06-07 21.31.58

We have not had notification that navigation on this canal has re-opened however, all the boats pointing south have gone leaving just Stefan (on the bike barge hotel boat) and us pointing North at Briare and the breach. Stefan says that VNF are doing an ‘inventory’ of the condition of the canal to Briare and the locks (hopefully the aqueduct too!) and it is still closed beyond our bridge. Also, that movement to the south is restricted to draughts of <1.4 m. Then, yesterday, the huge hotel boat Deborah came trundling passed us (with a draft of 2 metres plus) towards Briare saying that they had been given clearance to Chatillon; 8 kms north of us and about  7 kms south of Briare – the French have a name for all this conflicting information – radio gunwales, which I rather like.

So with no further info to go on, Stefan left this morning to start a 6km cruise in reverse to the nearest winding hole as the one by the bridge is not long enough for him.


Our, inherited, rental of the garage at Roanne was up for renewal at the end of May and, despite letters and emails, we haven’t been able to contact the owner and pay another 12 months. We’ve been getting quite worried about it as our car is in it, so G decided it would be a good idea to take a train back to Roanne, visit the owner of the garage in person, check Matilda Rose and bring the car back. We were up at 6.30 am and G left for a 20km bike ride to Briare to get the morning train to Roanne – it was cancelled due to flooding, so he bikled 20 km back again.

Meanwhile I’d walked up to the village market for our ontake of fresh veg, cheese and eggs, where G caught up with me, and we sat and had coffee and pastis and scoffed the pastries I’d bought in the boulangerie – they were so good that we went back to get more to take home with us!!!

French parking cracks me; a narrowish street with cafe tables on one side and parked cars on the other – first the post lady abandons her post van in the middle of the road whilst she come to the bar for a coffee, then another car driver and a tractor driver did the same. No-one bothers or honks horns – they just sit and wait or come for a coffee themselves.


The market was bigger this week – it had a clothes stall


Returning to the boat we were Billy No Mates (but our calorie stash was very comforting) and we decided to turn and head back south the way we’d come.


Then G realised that he’d bikled to Briare and back and not picked up the post ……… so we headed north instead, to the delightful town of Chatillon–sur-Loire and, discovering the massive Deborah wasn’t there, rang the port of Briare to be told the port de commerce was open but not the locks beyond to the marina. G cycled back in the 7 kms to pick up the post and, guess what ….. Deborah wasn’t in the port de commerce either – perhaps she fell out of the breach!!!! Poor Stefan could have gone forward to Briare to turn rather than that long reverse.

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