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

  • July 2019
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Back home!

Posted by contentedsouls on 20/07/2019

5 weeks post op flew by, and he had his post op follow up with his consultant by Skype – the wonders of modern technology saved us another trip to the Welsh borders – and cleared to leave the UK again. The insurance company had told us that they were happy for him to drive once he had been cleared by the consultant.

Muttley said goodbye to his bestest mate Marley the Staffie pup, and I pulled up my big girl’s pants to face the drive home with the trailer on the back (just to add a little extra stress). It actually worked out quite well, because G drove for awhile and then iced his knee whilst I drove. We left with loads of time in hand for the midnight ferry and plenty of stops to get out and walk about – in fact we arrived in time to watch the 8pm ferry leave, and we still had time for my last fix of proper fish & chips before booking in and being loaded onto the 10pm – nice for me because I’ve never done it in daylight before.

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Back on mainland Europe we continued to alternate the driving/ice machine routine until we were clear of Antwerp at about 3 am (the roads are a nightmare around Antwerp from 5 am onwards) and pulled over for 3 hours kip in a lorry park that had a cafe which opened for breakfast at 6am. Two individuals roaming free in the lorry park, however, decided that we didn’t need any sleep – I am totally amazed that nobody had caught the buggers and BBQd them; the racket was unbelievable.

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The journey I had been so dreading was, in fact, fine and G was able to comfortably drive for probably 2/3 of it – even Daisy (fairly) quietly put up with being confined in her cage when I drove.

It was sooo good to be back home on Francoise after all our travels this year – and even more so to find that all G’s hard work had paid off and that there was neither signs nor smells of mould, unlike the only other time we both left her!

We took our time unpacking and just ‘being home’ before setting off cruising again and, in the interim, enjoyed some time with our boat hosts, Vim and Ana. They took us out for a picnic on a sloop for the day, which was lovely, although the weather got a bit exciting crossing the meer coming home!!!!!!! It might not look it in the photo but, trust me, it was very lively

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Just as we planned to leave, we found a slight technical hitch – our rudder was no longer connected to the steering…oops.

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G was forbidden from fixing it – well I wasn’t going to be the one to explain to his surgeon that his new knee fell out whilst he was climbing down the rudder, so it was another day or two before we could leave and set off to meet the pirates, but we did arrive on time in the end. Despite compulsory stop overs with Jill & Gary and Vos and Andy en route

Pictures from our cruise to collect them including playtime with Jill and Gary in Sloten

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6 Responses to “Back home!”

  1. Kevin TOO said

    Well it’s nice that you’re ‘back home’ and that Graham appears to be recovering nicely too 🙂
    So what are your cruising plans for the rest of this year then, do you have a plan, or are you playing it by ear?

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    • no real plans; just pootling about here. We’ll (pobably) cross the Ijsselmeer next year to North and South Holland. Still not sure about Germany as mooring appears quite limited for the animals. French waterways are at a virtual standstill due to lack of water – although that could change over winter. Further south in Spain for 4 months this winter.

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  2. Brian and Diana said

    Glad your journey went so well

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  3. vallypee said

    Glad we’re nearly up to date now, Jill! So good to know the driving wasn’t as bad as you’d feared! What’s next, I wonder 🙂

    Like

    • what’s next? we were wondering that too lol. definitely spain for the winter and cruising south into france doesn’t seem to be much of an option unless they have torrential rain all winter! perhaps just Zeeland/north/south Holland. if we head further north into germany and poland, we’ll have an even longer drive to the sun

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