We have arrived at one of our favourite halts on the entire French/Belgium waterways network.
After the commercial waterways of north France we entered the tranquil small canal which connects Belgium to France the Roubaix canal, and it is only those in the know who venture down this idyllic stretch.
Getting here was straightforward but very busy with large commercial boats on the large waterways of the Canal du Nord and the Escault up into Belgium.
Little things excite you on route, like rising bollards in a deep lock, how sad are we?
No particular problems encountered but the water in the large canal is churned up by the constant flow of commercial boats and poor Renaissance gets tossed about, particularly at night when we moor up as the commercial traffic continues well into the night and starts again very early in the morning.
Some really BIG boats on the Escault, however, the Canal du Nord and the Escault are surprisingly attractive canals, mostly rural and the canal sits high up with little or no banks to obscure the countryside views.
Some geese on the way to Belgium, got any bread mister?
Our newly fitted solar panels are working very well and we were able to moor without electric hook-up for several days in succession without any drop in battery power, one of the best purchases to date.
What a difference coming off the very commercial canals onto the narrow Roubaix, but that is why we love this life so much the contrast and the change of pace.
We met up with Dawn and Paul when we arrived at Leers-nord and had our regular visit from Gunner who was after a date with Gladys
Also Andy and Wendy arrived after a couple of days on their way to Ghent, Andy and I enjoying a beer in the sunshine
The main reason the stop at Leers-Nord is so good is the ‘La Maison du Canal’ a café/bar run by Anita and her family. It is a place of constant activity that is well supported by locals, cyclist’s walkers and boaters. It serves good food and a large range of superb Belgium beers, what’s not to like.
When you dragged up to the dance floor by a very attractive belly dancer it was too good an opportunity not to show off my skills!!
When we eventually tear ourselves away from this fabulous halt, we will make our way back towards Burgundy hopefully using some different routes than we have used before, and as we are still only 3 months into the summer there is no rush and we can really take time to explore some new waterways.
This post was written by Terry Barrett
Photographs by Tes