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 2017
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for April 23rd, 2017

Downhill all the way now

Posted by contentedsouls on 23/04/2017

We stayed at Le Chesne for a chill out day, but we were still up at 7 am. Funny little place this – I had called round to the Marie’s office the previous afternoon, to ask if they could turn the water on for us, but the office was closed. So I popped into the Post Office  to ask when the Marie’s office would be open, but the Post Office was closed too. I knew I would be OK for groceries though, because there was a small 8 to 8 shop.


….or then again, maybe not!

I managed to find the Marie’s office open in the morning and a delightful young lady dispatched someone to turn the water on – he was there within 5 minutes and we soon had the bed stripped and two loads of washing drying on the rear deck in a sunny, but rather sharp, wind. We have had frost on the solar panels in the morning for several days now. After doing all that and walking the dogs, it was still only 12.15 and I hadn’t had breakfast, so I suggested that we have lunch out at the nearby restaurant which advertised it’s presence at the mooring. To start with, I thought it was too expensive and then I read the sign properly.


If you are as old as me, you will remember that there were roughly 10 French Francs to the pound; so our menu du jour at 14 euros for 3 courses hasn’t been badly hit by inflation. It was also the best menu du jour I’ve ever eaten and – shock horror – included vegetables. After lunch we managed to catch the 8 til 8 open and get a new gas bottle; we don’t want to have to pay for Belgian and Dutch bottles, so we need our French bottles to see us through Belgium.


Muttley should have been carrying a stick in the above photo, then he would have made a perfect Easter cross; good job he has no concept of his giant shadow or he’d be impossible to live with!

So here is the profile of our journey. Le Chesne is at the top of the second peak, so now we just keep going down – at one point we disappear below sea level which is somewhat scary – do we need a submarine as I don’t think Francoise carries a sub mariner cat? There are a couple of ‘uppy’ bits, but nothing of significance.


For the first time in about 10 days, Baxter dragged me out of bed at 5 am this morning and needed to go out again at 7.30. I really did not want to get out of bed this morning – the contrast between the recent me and the me this morning just goes to show the effect of sleep deprivation and the impact it’s had on our lives since last July. Poor love, it must have worn him out too. Let’s hope it was just a one off. I dragged myself out of bed at 8.20 and, despite a quick trip to the shop and boulangerie, we were still away before 10. We were moored up again by 12.15 though as this little spot couldn’t be ignored – it’s not often that you find somewhere that the entire menagerie can roam at will.


Only 630 kms to go

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