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

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Sailly-sur-la-Lys to Saint Venant

Welcome back

For the first time for ages it's raining today, so it's the ideal time to bring you up to date on our adventures.

We stayed in Sailly-sur-la-Lys until Monday so Roger could watch the Grand Prix. Apart from the commercial barges we haven't seen many pleasure boats. In fact we only saw one other boat in the whole 3 days we moored in Sailly and everyone we've spoken to has said how quiet the river is this year.

This section of the River Lys is really lovely, quite narrow and twisty and shallow in places but that still doesn't deter the working boats. This one only just got under the road bridge in Sailly.

After Sailly we stayed for a couple of nights on the town mooring pontoon at Estaires. Again it was a free mooring with no facilities but we did have free "entertainment" from the town drunk. Early in the evening a very frail old man (picture a very bronzed walking skeleton wearing a trilby) came down onto the pontoon with a tatty shopping trolley which he unloaded and laid out his supper, a bottle of rose wine, several boxes of medication and a huge cigarette machine. He ate his salad and drank his wine straight from the bottle, all the while muttering to himself and staggering up and down the pontoon and chain smoking. Teenagers came down onto the pontoon to sit in the sun and chat, so he decided he'd "rest" against our boat which was OK as he wasn't doing any harm. This went on for a couple of hours and he was getting louder and more obnoxious and even the teenagers got fed up with him and left. After our brush with the attempted suicide the other week, I had visions of him OD'ing on his pills and booze and falling into the river but fortunately that didn't happen and he suddenly decided it was time to leave. It took him ten minutes to climb/crawl back up the steps to the road and then he was gone, leaving his empty bottle on our roof and his supper containers and other rubbish on the pontoon for us to clear up. No harm done and thankfully he didn't come back again the next evening.

The pontoon mooring was beside the church, which in typical French style was HUGE and started ringing its bells at 7am with the first call to Mass 😦 And those bells rang and rang and'd have thought they were the town's alarm clock!

The only other interesting thing we saw in Estaires was our first French poo bin

It was fully stocked with bags and obviously never used as there were "deposits" everywhere and the bin itself was empty. Is it a macho thing do you think, that the French don't pick up after their dogs?

So after Estaires we carried on up river to Merville where we had to temporarily moor up to go and find the lock-keeper as there was no reply on the phone. It was a young woman who was very friendly and helpful and gave us some good local information and used her remote control to work us through the lock. It was much smaller than we've been used to so I reckon we've seen the last of the commercial barges for a while.

Once again there was a free public mooring pontoon, with the added benefit of having an Aldi supermarket and butchers on the other side of the hedge.

Our evening entertainment came from these guys "boat jousting"

It went on for hours and they took it in turns pushing each other into the river. Only the French could invent something like that 😃

We're now moored on the Halte Nautique at Saint Venant. Great mooring with free electric and free water PLUS the first continuous moorers we've come across.  There are 3 French cruisers who have been here for much longer than the 48 hours stipulated. One of them told us he'd been here for 3 weeks but didn't see any problem as there were so few boats about anyway. I can't say I blame him either as it's such a good place.

We won't be staying for 3 weeks but we will stay for the weekend.

Bye for now, see you again soon I hope

1 comment:

  1. It was great to meet you. Hope I see you again soon in St Venant

    Ps great blog