Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Running before the storm.
Monday 27th May - Bethune to Douai

The canals in this part of the world are monstrous big things like rivers designed for ships with payloads measured in thousands of tons.  Unlike the smaller more ancient canals which ambled through the centre of towns to facilitate unloading, these are like motorways, skirting the fringes and the industrial areas where they will cause the least disruption to residents.

It’s not unpleasant travelling along them by any means, but they don’t offer many convenient opportunities to simply stop and poke around for a day or two.  This was no bad thing in our current mood, as we could pretty much smell Douai in the distance and our Mr Perkins was on the charge.

Kilometre markers whooshed by even faster than birthdays do these days, with our little boat travelling at such a rate since Mr P’s latest touch up that we have given serious thought to changing the boat’s name to “Bluebird”.   The fact that we are cruising at approximately one-sixtieth of the speed which that brought that particular vessel to grief is probably indicative that we have substantial margins of safety built in.   In no time flat, or six hours later depending on who is doing the measuring, the uninterrupted green lining the canal changed quite suddenly into rows of neat red brick houses.  We had arrived before the storm.

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