4 locks, 11¾ miles, 4¾ hours with overnight stop
Monday morning we set off about 10.15. MR went to the local Port de Plaisance just across the water for pre arranged water. Only to be greeted with less than pleasant response to their arrival despite having paid for the privilege the local taxi boat service decided to tell MR in no uncertain terms to fu*k off their moorings, despite there being no boats on it or passengers waiting to board. The port knew the length of MR and told them to use that water point as it was the only linear mooring for a boat of their size.
We needed a top-up too but not desperate so decided to chance a fill at the Namur lock. We were in luck and during our time in the lock we managed to get about 500L.
MR was one lock cycle behind us so we waited on the lock mooring. We had only be going about 45 minutes with the decision to take the top down. This was hastily changed as a huge thunderstorm and rainstorm came from nowhere lasting about 30 minutes, then brilliant sun and heat for the rest of the day so it was top down again.
The decision had been made over the weekend we would take the opportunity of moorings at Yvior to return home to attend to matters there, so this short cruise would be our last with MR, at least for a while.
Once out of Namur the river Meuse is stunning. The property along the river is of the green with envy type. There’s not a rough one amongst them.
MR surveying this complete with moorings
The next lock saw a rib with loads of people & kids on board making their way to the water skiing area.
You see some odd things along the way. Here a ship high and dry in someone's garden.
There is still industrial goings on despite the beauty of the area. Here, some sort of quarry. I was particularly taken with the symmetry of the curve in the layered rock.
Most of it seems to be crushed onsite ready for what ever it goes on to be used for. Here we see Chyeanne from a few weeks back that we had to avoid hitting. This would have been around a 30 ton deposit seemingly making no difference to the mighty Cheyeanne. It must take a few hundred of these truck loads
Once through it was just a mile or so to our overnight mooring. We had arranged with the Marina at Yvoir to be there on the Tuesday afternoon and had left a bit of wriggle time in case something came up. As it didn’t we had an afternoon and evening to kill. This proved to be a good spot. The locals even along the towpath even took ropes to help us all moor up.
This lovely spot was Godinne and made a super spot to wild moor for the rest of the day.
There was no rush the following morning so it was a lazy start. With only a couple of miles to do till our mooring it was time to eek it out, so it was tick over all the way.
MR taking it easy too
Once again the waterfront was festooned with prime properties set amongst a beautiful backdrop. If I had to live in Belgium, this region would be high on the list.
I was a bit naughty at the last lock “Houx” lock. We had entered and made fast and in came 5-6 small boats. We initially chose to tie off away from the lock gates to avoid the pounding you get when the paddles are opened in a lock like this. Unlike before when it came in form under, these are all from the front paddles. So instead of passing us one pulls in behind us, then is mate can’t get in behind him. Will he move in front of us, NO so we have to move forward so he can then his mate can get in behind. I registered my disapproval with some very bad boatmanship. I blasted him at full throttle to move forward. Boy did he bounce around and strain at his front rope. Hopefully a bottle of wine went over or better still a bottle of cooking oil. Not proud, but just sometimes!!!
So now we are at the from to the lock with front opening paddles and only one rope on. Nice & thanks.
Once through the lock a few minutes later we were in sight of of our destination for the month.
Once moored up it was time to move vehicles around. We had already mover the MH to here. Graham went back by train to get his car from Namur then we both headed off to Dinant to deposit MR’s car for their onward journey without us.
We needed to get the dogs checked and wormed and ticked by a vet before we headed back to the UK. On the route I Googled a vet and a the boys were duly treated and the pet passport was stamped so they could come home.
This took us into the early evening and once back at the marina we discovered the girls had been given the key to control the cable ferry which is the only way on or off the island as the island staff had gone home. Yes they did let us back on. It was beer o’clock.
MR stayed the night and in the morning we all said goodbye for now and they went on their way.
We had our passage booked for Friday night and decided it would be nice to spend a couple of nights in the MH on the way home. The rest of the morning and early afternoon was devoted to packing up for home. Luckily there was a public mooring just across the river with vehicle access so I moved Avalon and the MH together to do the transfer.
I was able to empty the MH cassette in Avalon’s loo and fill the water tank from Avalon’s water tank and all that needed to go home was stowed. This took much longer that one might expect, but by mid afternoon Avalon was moved back to the mooring and secured and we were off.
We spent a nice couple of days at Le Touquet
before heading off to Calais for the boat home. Having never travelled with the dogs we arrived early. The whole procedure was pretty straight forward. At check in we handed over their passports along with ours, we were then handed a chip scanner to confirm they were the same dogs. Once satisfied with the documents and the chip readings we were handed a green pets on board sticker for the windscreen, and that was it.
Once off the boat it was late so we parked up on the regular Dover seafront along with many other motorhomes presumably to get a night or very early ferry. When we woke they had all gone.
A gentle run home saw us back in the door middle of Saturday afternoon.