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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3rd June. Woudrichen to Arkel

Posted by contentedsouls on 10/07/2017

9 kms, 1 lock (with LB) 1.5 hours

I left Woudrichem reluctantly, vowing to return; but onwards and downwards there was a new and immediate challenge. As per previous blog we were moored on the Maas (Meuse) which converged with the Rhine (that you can see beyond the narrow strip of land behind the boat) and we needed to cross the Rhine to turn left.


We thought the Maas had some big stuff on it, but the Rhine OMG!!!!!!!! We reached the confluence, hovered for awhile, then made a dash for it; dodging the stuff turning in to the Maas and trying to time our crossings between the stuff coming straight along the Rhine from the left, the ferries in the middle and then find a slot in amongst the stuff coming from the right.


To give you some idea of the scale of the Rhine, this is us crossing it. Finally we reached the other side and were at least going in the same direction as everyone else.


Funny place to put a multi storey car park though.


Once we managed to actually cross, the journey was fun with the odd wave breaking over our bow. It wasn’t long though before we turned off the mighty river onto the canal (fortunately a right turn so we didn’t have to cross back again), mooring in a line of cruisers and a beautifully, immaculate, replica tjalk at Arkel (built in 1998). The long grass stopped me getting good pics without invading their space.

P1220170P1220175P1220182  P1220189

I’m afraid Arkel was as dull as dishwater; even more so on the back of the glorious Woudrichem. When G announced a decision to stay on the Sunday (poor boy was probably exhausted after crossing the shipping lanes the previous day), I couldn’t help ungenerously thinking, “nearly 2 days in this place with no town to speak of and no dog walking, when we could have spent the weekend in Woudrichem”. I’d like to think I was a nice enough person not to voice these thoughts to G; but I bet I did, probably repeatedly. This maybe why he fell asleep in the sun – unfortunately with his hands across his chest!


Having lambasted the place, I must say the inhabitants did their best to ‘make the best of it’.


Leaving Arkel on the Monday (which we later found out was a bank holiday) was very exciting and great fun, making up for the dull weekend. I posted those events ‘real time’ on the 6th June – here is the link if you missed it  Race Track to Vianen

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