Come with us as we travel round Europe in our floating home

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Kortrijk to Menen

Hi, nice to see you again.

We left Kortrijk on Monday, after spending a very pleasant Sunday afternoon in the town's main square.  We'd gone walkabout and found the square to be set up for a Historic Car Rally and a rock band was playing on the stage.  Well you know us...any excuse for a beer

There were over a hundred cars in the rally and most posed on the finish line to receive their certificate.

We were just approaching Menon town bridge on Monday morning when we saw a young Asian woman standing on the wrong side of the railings and Roger jokingly said that he hoped she wasn't going to jump.  Well guess what?  She jumped just as we were going past.  It must have been a 10ft drop into the water although at the time it looked much higher. When we did our ICC we had to do a "man overboard" exercise but when you're faced with it in real life it's not as easy as you think!  By the time I'd thrown our life ring into the water and Roger had stopped and reversed back to her an elderly Asian man had jumped out of his car and climbed down the ladder to try and rescue her. She didn't want rescuing and fought him off so he then jumped into the water to try and get to her. We couldn't get too close to them in case we crushed them against the concrete wall but luckily a couple of builders were walking past on their lunch break and heard the commotion. They threw a rope down to the man who managed to get it round her, despite her efforts to fend him off, and then they hauled her to the ladder where they managed to drag her up and out, all the while still kicking and screaming.  The old man really struggled getting himself up the ladder as he must have been exhausted by this time.  How desperate must you be to try and kill yourself like that?  I really hope she gets some help and that they don't suffer too much from having swallowed lots of river water.

There wasn't anything we could do other than keep a look out for any oncoming commercial barges so as soon as they were out of the water we carried on to the moorings where we've stayed since. It's a good spot opposite a small marina and apart from a couple of nights we've been here all alone. We're too long to go into the marina and as we don't need electric or water (and it's free) this suited us perfectly.

The weather is still HOT 😎 here but at last we've had some rain. The storm that was forecast on Thursday came with a bang...literally....Lots of thunder and lightening and about half an hour of heavy rain and then it was over.  As soon as it brightened up again we went into town looking for a car spares shop as Roger needed some bits for the boat, and when we got back an hour later the water level had risen by over half a meter and was just about to wash over the bank!  We needed to quickly slacken off the mooring ropes and add some tyres as fenders but thankfully it didn't rise any further and the level dropped back to normal again a couple of hours later.

It's a strange place to stay as it's basically on the border between Belgium and France. If you walk to the main road and turn left you're in Menen which is Belgian but if you turn right and walk over the bridge you're in Halluin which is French. We had a quick tour around Menen and then decided that the French town was better suited to us.  Not only could we speak to people and understand what they were saying, but it was SO much cheaper too. Beer went from being 4€ a glass to 3€60 for two and food prices were more realistic as well. Roger managed to get his stuff for the boat as the young man in the car parts shop was really helpful and between Roger's French and his pigeon English they managed to find what we needed and the assistant ordered it in for us to collect next day.

So it's time to move on again.  We're heading for a little town called Wervik which is the centre of the Belgian tobacco growing region, so I'll tell you about that next time.

Take care, see you soon

No comments:

Post a Comment