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
  • Meta

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

9 Responses to “Downhill all the way now”

  1. Margaret Budd said

    It is nice to see the animals out enjoying the beautiful sunshine isn’t it !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. andywindy said

    1F.Franc = 2 Austrian Schillings, Ah I remember them days!

    Couldn’t see Graham out sunbathing in your photos, I thought you inferred that the whole menagerie was out? Oh reading it again there’s Somewhere for them all!
    2 Dogs a cat and a resident Hero, what else does a Girl need? 😀

    I make that about 30kM on the level at one point going down hill, followed shortly after by another 20 or so, apart from them there are a heck of a lot of Locks!
    Don’t forget that when you are in The Netherlands, you Will be below Sea level on most of the waterways! 😃


    • He’s out on the side of the boat look; lifting off his nav light box to paint. Can’t have him sitting about enjoying himself.

      There’s a heck of a lot of lift bridges too. I have unpacked my snorkel


  3. Anne Luard said

    We got caught by the 8 till 8 in Le Chesne when I sent him out for beer at 7.30!! We are learning. The water was working on the other side…under the bin liner!!


    • Rod tipped us off about, ‘under the bin liner’ but it had been switched off again. There was a tap up on the road bridge which would have meant slinging linked hoses up and across the road! A quick trip to the Marie’s office and we had free leccy and water.
      Now in Lume which has been poshed up since we were last here 3 years ago. Snazzy new cycle track.


  4. vallypee said

    How can you bear to leave France and come north? It looks so idyllic there!


    • We have to Val to be lifted out and for our insurance survey – they know what they are doing in Holland! France is hopeless to do stuff like that – both expensive and incompetent.
      Veronica and others say Holland is wonderful (albeit wet and cold); don’t put me off! Besides, how else are we going to meet up?

      Liked by 1 person

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