contentedsouls

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

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Fumay, Vireux-Wallerand and Givet

Posted by contentedsouls on 23/05/2017

On Tuesday morning we all went our separate ways and the next 3 days disappeared in a bit of a blur. The next two night stops, Fumay and Vireux-Wallerand respectively, were where we dropped Sarah and Andy off and picked them up when we first crossed into France over 3 years ago. I remember asking Sarah to translate the menu! Everything looked and seemed different because we didn’t have a clue as to what was happening and how things worked then – some days we’re not very sure now, but it’s altogether a more confident, ‘not very sure’.

Someone sitting not very far away from me mentioned, as we cruised into the last lock of the day, that the locks had been brilliant and that we hadn’t had to call VNF once! Subsequently, we found ourselves admiring the view at the bottom of the last lock for a considerable amount of time (the first one in the morning didn’t work either). Note to self – gag husband.

All the way along this stretch, work continues on the weirs – I’m amazed that there are enough skilled construction companies to work on so many simultaneously.

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Awoke Wednesday morning to a wet and miserable day but to find a little market happening outside the boat, so that was alright then – especially as it was over a week since we’d been shopping and had been entertaining in the interim.

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Onwards again the next morning to ‘Old Wallonie’ where at least there was a basic shop.

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Then into Givet where I had hoped to spend a couple of days. The last time we stopped there the quay was so high that we had to lift the dogs off in the Bosun’s chair that Sue’s Wendie had made for us before we left; so we had only stayed one night. Kevin told us of a better place to moor but, sadly, that had now become trip boats only. The quay we moored alongside was not as bad as where we had stopped the last time but it was still pretty grim. G managed to lift the dogs off but I really struggled and ended up going off of the roof. G decided to get a train to fetch the car – this time remembering where we had left it – and the next morning we did a major shop before parking the car up and leaving. Leaving meant crossing the border into Belgium and, subsequently, losing all our Wi-Fi which – as it was two days before we had intended – resulted in an undignified scrabble to let people know that we would be out of contact for a week or two, sort out our bank account and forget to load books onto our Kindles.

Belgium here we come!

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