Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, July 09, 2024


Sunday is a funny day on the water in Belgium or at least in Wallonia.   

In the absence of almost all commercial traffic, the waterways staff seem to work a sort of “casual Friday” kind of day, stopping for lunch and appearing to not do too much at all.  

By eight, when we woke it was such a glorious morning that we were at sixes and sevens as to whether we’d even bother moving.   By nine, we’d decided to stay for one more day.

At twenty past nine, we cast off to try our luck with the last two large commercial locks we need to negotiate for the next few days.  

Since no one really wants to move fourteen million litres of water just so a boat that displaces barely six thousand, can move twelve metres upwards, there’s a policy of doing nothing unless three boats are present per lock movement or if no-one else turns up there is a maximum of approximately two hours to wait "just in case".  Naturally this is flexible because, well, even the waterways guys have to eat, and while we were really lucky at the first lock, the crews of the three boats who had already been waiting for almost three hours when we arrived were delighted to see us.

In any event, we had a very gentle day bobbing around waiting to the sounds of Mr Perkins throaty idle.

By mid afternoon we'd travelled a very slow (even by our standards) twenty- five kilometres or so, and were nicely settled into a pleasant little corner in the port of Peruwelz.  

There we whiled away the afternoon, wandering through the nettles and blackberries where once mown pathways lay, and generally admiring the wondrous biodiversity which we suspect was more a result of neglect than deliberate policy, but it works just the same.



Kanal Rapanden said...

Ok, I had missed that small port. When we return to Ghent we will go this route to Bruxelles as some of the crew does not like tidal waters.
By the way, I thought this was one of your paintings when I saw it.....

bitingmidge said...

I am not sure when or which direction we are heading back, but it would be nice if our paths would cross! And thank-you, I would have loved to have painted that one! ;)

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