3 locks, 15¾, 6½ hours
My back was still stiff in the morning but another dose of ibuprofen go it going again. I didn’t get around to taking a photo of the mooring so I pinched one from MR’s blog
We had a fairly lazy day there and did some shopping at the very nearby Lidl. In the afternoon me and Graham moved his car to Namur and we returned in the motorhome and left it back at Auvlais so we have a vehicle at both ends.
The following day we headed off for Namur. The River Sambre from hear on is generally very pretty and winding. There’s still a fair bit of commercial traffic and large depots and factories they service but they go a lot slower because of the twists and turns.
MR’s photo once the barge had passed
We had 3 locks to do today ranging from 4.6m to 2.3m in decent. In these we used the top bollards to hold our way down. In the tallest lock the loop end of the rope hit Deb on the head as it came off the bollard. Somehow I go the blame for this, or was it for not sympathising, whatever it was one of them.
As we approached the last lock I radioed ahead for passage and got the message back that it would be 80+ minutes. Mooring up was fun! it was a sloping side and the nearest I could get in was about 3 feet away and it was uphill to jump. Deb held the boat on the engine while I jumped off and got a front rope on a bollard, then she used the power to get the back end in an hold while she through a mooring pin and hammer for me to secure the back. Now I was stranded off the boat as the jump was to far for me old knees and really for safety so I hitched a lift on MR and they moored alongside for the wait. We used their boarding ramp and off I went to see what the hold up was. I turned out we were about 5 in the queue with one stuck in the lock because the hydraulics that open the top gate were broken. As I walked back the repair van turned up. A bit further back I met Deb & Jill with the dogs so took Herbie and did a walk with them.
On the way back a bloke came along with a young collie type dog and soon after let it off the lead. Taking his lead we all let our 4 dogs off as well. The young collie was a bit overwhelmed with 3 of our 4 dogs trying to play with. It was all good natured but the bloke decided to get involved by hitting Herbie with his umbrella causing Herbie to yelp. I immediately and very angrily challenged him about his behaviour, to which despite the language barrier he understood I was mighty pissed off. His answer to his was to threaten me with the umbrella. My answer to that was to bend his umbrella in half. Much shouting went on and when he started on Deb he realised he had bitten off a shouting match he wouldn’t win.
He went on his way trying to canvas witnesses as he went, from the boats and other walkers. I think they must have been of the same opinion about his actions and all shrugged their shoulders and shook their heads . He went on his was with a very broken umbrella, and his tail firmly between his legs.
On this brief walk we saw on barge near the head of the queue that had gone past us at Auvelais early in the morning, so he must have been waiting a long while.
About an hour after all this excitement we were called into the lock with Barge No.3 in the queue to make up a lock together with another cruiser that arrived after us.
MR hear nearly ending up as a fender for the barge
This was a leaky lock.
Then it was the run down to Namur and the River Meuse
Once on the Meuse we needed to head under the famous 7 arch bridge. Of course by this time it had again started raining. So pictures have rain on them too. I may well go back and get better ones on Monday when we leave.
The town moorings can just be seen to the right under the arch where we are now moored.
This is the bridge by night.
From what I have seen of Namur so far I think its going to be a very nice city. It’s the capital of the Wallonia region after all.