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

  • July 2017
    M T W T F S S
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31st May Beek en Donk to Den Bosch

Posted by contentedsouls on 05/07/2017

28 kms, 3 locks, 3 LBs, 6 hours

En route we turned turned into a side cutting into Veghel as we had spotted a huge Jumbo supermarket. We went down to the end to wind and G jumped off to dispose of rubbish at the little harbour. Rubbish disposal is a major issue – especially as it gets hotter. There are town bins (marked restaval) for you to stick your black bags in where they disappear into underground tanks but 99% of them require a household security pass card to activate them. G did manage to dispose of one bag in the skip before being accosted by the quick footed harbour master, so we beat a hasty retreat back the way we had come.

Before we arrived in this country we had been led to believe they were all quite sticklers for law and order and a bit ‘cautious’. They charge about the country on quite large mopeds, with pillions, and nary a crash helmet between them. Bicycles being the most popular form of transport; you see whole families on one bike. Babies on seats in front or behind mum or dad. Babies and children in boxes on the front or back (note to self; must get photos), sometimes 4 per box. Wives riding side saddle on the parcel carrier rack (we used to do that as kids), never seen adults doing this as a regular form of transport before (maybe India!). I have never seen one child or baby with any kind of protective headgear  


Anyway, I digress. We moored outside the Jumbo where I despatched G with an empty beer crate to exchange (big money on these) and a small shopping list, whilst I headed off in search of potential rubbish disposal (unsuccessfully). He returned looking quite amused and a bit sheepish; it was the HQ for Jumbo’s distribution!

More big locks and big boats – including this one with crows feeding off of it’s gunwales – before this final lift bridge just outside Den Bosch, which we reached at 2.00pm. It was then that we remembered Geoff had phoned to warn us that it only opened at 1 pm and 4 pm, doh………!

This is the second post you have seen (also the train bridge in, ‘the race from Arkel to Vianen’) where we have been caught by restricted bridge opening times and wondering how the hell you are meant to know. Well we do know now, thanks to a visit from Katinka and Scott on tjalk Eendracht; but that didn’t happen until another week past so we stumbled onwards.


Knowing we had 2 hours we were able to have lunch, let Daisy out and do a few chores. 3.45 and I called Daisy back on board; no response. She decided to have one of her (fortunately very rare) moments and refused to come out from under a nearby parked car, from where G had to bribe her out with Catisfactions biscuits (other brands are available, but they don’t work!). Cat retrieved, the bridge lifted on time and we moored initially behind Jantina before changing banks for a safer place to let Daisy out.


We moored outside the Grass House (I only seem to have a photo of it closed but it had lovely comfy armchairs and looked very cosy). The footfall in and out of this place was amazing; what neither of us had realised was that they did takeaways in the form of cakes, biscuits, ready rolled (with or without tobacco) or DIY. The bouncer advised me that I couldn’t go in without a pass, but that a pass could be obtained from the town hall at the cost of 30 euros.

Sat on our moorings here and a chap jumped on the back of our boat. G shot outside and a very English voice said, “oops, sorry wrong boat”. It was  Jantina’s visitors who had confused the two tjalks.


I spent a happy few days there.       Just wandering around with my camera.




The centre of the city is large with surrounding parklands and some rather quirky statues. I managed to get myself totally disorientated (alright; lost). It’s no good asking for directions to the canal as there is just so much water about and so I  asked a cyclist how to find my way back to the Grass House – his response to that was, “which one?”. He parked up his bike and looked on Google maps for me (we still had no Wi-Fi then), ascertaining that there was only one Grass House adjacent to a canal (that was lucky). Sadly I was still several miles from home. Hey ho. Once again Bilbo and Muttley were more than happy to be sharing their walks – I only took one photo of the happy band of dog walkers and Lisa would kill me if I published it; it was a nice one of Bilbo though!

Our next destination was to be diametrically opposed and matched my mental image of how Holland would be; there were windmills and historic boats (who said, “about time too”?).

3 Responses to “31st May Beek en Donk to Den Bosch”

  1. Kevin TOO said

    Great photos again Jill, love the one of the caged woman atop a pole… nominations are now open… LOL


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