Home > Travel Blog > 2012 > August



We made the run down to Sedan in six hours and moored alongside "Jubilant" a luxurious 38 metre Belgian hotel barge belonging to two couples, Miriam and Max, Helen and Steve. They have purchased it as a hotel barge business and will be starting next season, wintering this year in Mechelen, Belgium.  See www.thejubilant.com    Off to Charleville........

Charleville Mezieres

On arrival at Charleville Mezieres it was a happy coincidence that Australian friends Graham and Bardy had just moored up and were waiting to welcome us. Needless to say, lots of news to catch up on and a chance to go out for lunch in this delightful town.  Here we left Esme for a week while we returned to England primarily to see the new twin grandchildren!  During our visit we spent some special time with other family members too.

Graham and Bardy Graham and Bardy

Esme and Effort                                Graham and Bardy


The new Grandchildren

Luca and Finlay are beautiful, healthy, perfect girl and boy twins, born on 23rd July.  Their parents Edd (Chris's son) and Tash certainly have their work cut out but we made time for an outing to the local park in the afternoon.  By now they are getting to grips with the routine of family life and starting to really enjoy parenthood. More on Edd's blog here

Edd and Luca Tash and Finlay

Edd and Luca                                   Tash and Finlay       

Stereo pram Out in the park, Edd driving

Stereo pram                                    Out in the park, Dad driving       

From Charleville

Having returned from England with a new set of batteries for Esme we were ready to set off down the beautiful River Meuse towards the Belgian border.  This area is truly spectacular, The river twists and turns in big loops through deep ravines of rocky densely wooded hills. At Fumay we found the perfect location, time and weather for some serious painting.  No, not watercolours, barge painting!  A lot of hard work and we can now stand back and admire the result.  Still quite a lot to do but we have broken the back of it.  Maintenance, dealing with rust and painting are all part and parcel of life on an old ship and we cannot do it in the winter, needing good dry weather, no dust, no wind, not too much sun, no insects and of course no rain.  So, physically hard work but very satisfying. While in Fumay we still had time to socialise and met by chance Dirk and Regina on Emma 2. http://emmaventure.wordpress.com Also we met Kris and Thea on their lovely Katwijker barge "Tramp". They have a bed and breakfast business on their barge, see their website www.vareninfrankrijk-tramp.nl   Continuing on our way, we met the challenge of two more tunnels, the Ham Tunnel being the most exciting, where the lock keeper kindly lowered the water level for us. A relief to get through without any damage. 

Montherme' Revin

Montherme                                      Revin


Painting Nice finish

Painting                                       Nice finish


Ham tunnel Ham tunnel

Into the Ham tunnel with inches to spare       Safely through, phew!!



Givet, French - Belgian border                 Anseremme

Visit from Katy

The cruise down the lovely Meuse continued to thrill us and we made some new friends along the way.  Perfect weather saw us arrive in Namur, a great city where we have spent happy times before.  Here we were joined by Katy who had driven across France to meet us and spend a few days cruising.  We have been friends for twenty years and she really loves sailing.  Her dog Coco is an inseparable companion who behaved impeccably and enjoyed herself too!  Katy's expert crewing meant that I could take a rest now and then. At Mons we moored at the Grand Large, an enormous watersports lake where we said goodbye till next year.  Now, to get back to the painting, the last few weeks of summer before heading back to Brugge.  So we headed to a favourite nearby spot at Pommeroeul where a big wedding party was taking place!  The couple chose this place for its beauty and we were flattered that Esme appeared in their wedding photographs! 

Brushing up the French Katie and Coco

Brushing up the French                         Katie and Coco


Back in Namur Grand Large

Back in Namur                                  Grand Large at Mons

QR Code