Category Archive

Schipdonk Lock to Bruges, Belgium Schipdonk Lock to Bruges, Belgium

Travel back in time to the denouement of the last ice age when, with the warming of the earth, waters rose as the melting of the ice caps commenced: this was the birth of the North Sea we know today. From this event, the great northern European rivers of today were created, which in turn […]

KGWV, Gent to Schipdonk Lock, Belgium KGWV, Gent to Schipdonk Lock, Belgium

Exiting KGWV, one heads straight across the Ring Route Canal and immediately enters a very different Leie to that found leading from Deinze to Kortrijk. This is a meandering river that wends its way in twists and turns across the countryside for some 20km. Interspersed with small villages, farmland and tiny forests, for its contrast, […]

Gent to KGWV Gent, Belgium Gent to KGWV Gent, Belgium

Having been given the incorrect data pack in the Netherlands (you really need to check that it is the international pack you are given prior to handing over the cash), we discovered our phones no longer worked on crossing the Belgian border yesterday. This meant a trip into Gent was required, so an unintended excursion […]

Terneuzen, Netherlands to KYC Gent, Belgium Terneuzen, Netherlands to KYC Gent, Belgium

Unlike previous years, there are no set dates – besides departure to Oz, that is – ahead, so the aim is slow and enjoy. So, a lazy start behind us, mid – morning it was time to depart upon the Gent Terneuzen Canal for our second year running. From Vlissingen, this is the quickest way […]

2018 2018

2018 Journey on Maps Vlissingen, Netherlands to Paris, France Return to Vlissingen, Netherlands   Maps used come from Tom Sommers books on France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Peronnes, France to Vlissingen, Netherlands Peronnes, France to Vlissingen, Netherlands

The first of October brought the first of the chilling wind and rain that foretold the coming of Winter: ‘bone numbing’ were the words to describe it. Winter woollens and rain jackets came out, but for those out on the helm, there was nothing to stop that aching chill. Passing through the final tunnel of […]

Into Dunkerque Into Dunkerque

Morning upon us, it was time. Time, that is, to deal with clearing the prop! By using a knife attached to one of our metal poles, Bob was most relieved when he managed to avoid a dive overboard into the murky brown waters. After some serious carving, he eventually pulled up a long piece of […]

Adinkerke to Dunkerque: Belgium into France Adinkerke to Dunkerque: Belgium into France

The morning was spent out on the bikes attempting to find cycle tracks into the exquisite de panne, all to no avail. There were plenty of paths for walkers, but the closest the cyclist could go was around the perimeter. We liked this critter….. Then to the beach we cycled……. What a beautiful piece of […]

Veurne to Adinkerke, Belgium Veurne to Adinkerke, Belgium

It was a waterway of green today. A green so thick that only 4km later Bob noted smoke emitting from the exhaust for Big Bertha. There was a blockage, which meant we had need to make stop. As you can imagine, there was one very unhappy camper. With moorings few and far between, there was […]

Nieuewpoort to Veurne, Belgium Nieuewpoort to Veurne, Belgium

Another early morning start took Gratis through the lock into the basin that led the cruiser either seaward or southbound. This morn, our path led us west to VYNieuwpoort and the slip. The lift ready, in and up went Gratis. It was now that the battle with the stony bank – resultant of that inept […]

Beernem to Nieuwpoort Beernem to Nieuwpoort

Over the past few mornings, Bob had been taking note of the times at which early morning barges passed through on their way to Zeebrugge and Oostende. Departing just ahead of one would provide us with the best chance of least waiting time for bridge and lock openings. With a long day ahead, and movement […]

Bulskampveld, Belgium Bulskampveld, Belgium

Just a four kilometre bike ride from Beernem, a castle resides in the beautiful landscape of Bulskampveld. In this picturesque and tranquil landscape visitor finds walking and riding paths that lead one through heavily forested sections in which ferns grow, across open heathlands in across which water courses run, and a large lake where it […]

Bruge by Bike Bruge by Bike

An exquisite summer’s morning had Bob and I alighting our bikes for the 14km trip into this UNESCO heritage Belgian city. Arriving at the township, it was wow! Beautiful doorways. waterways, interesting boats, and we loved the whale. One of the locks is still in operation: it’s colossal! Once there were seven, then there were […]

Kortrijk to Beernem, Belgium Kortrijk to Beernem, Belgium

The morning found us back on the Leie, pointing the bow of Gratis Gent way for a few kilometres. With the prop requiring its new anode sooner rather than later, we were having to pick up a little pace. Two locks with drops of under three metres were the only stops along the way, were […]

Kortrijk, Belgium Kortrijk, Belgium

Arriving at the entrance to Lock nine at 9am on this warm summer’s day, our delightful lock keeper was there to see us through. There is no VHF contact for these locks, so the mobile phone (+32 4789 6203) comes in handy for arranging passage. The lock hours for each gate opening are highly restricted, […]

Bossuit to Lock 9, Kortrijk: Belgium Bossuit to Lock 9, Kortrijk: Belgium

The part required for the running of the engine arrived via courier at the mooring dock just after lunch. By mid – afternoon, our sojourn along this not oft traversed section of water by pleasure boats commenced and, with the three locks at Kortrijk only operating between 9am and 4pm, it was a short run […]

Bossuit, Belgium Bossuit, Belgium

Awaking to a warm morning, breakfast consumed, it was time for Bob to reconnect the seal and lid to the base of the water muffler. Taking a matter of minutes to accomplish, all required now was to turn Big Bertha over. Engine idling, no leaks evident, it was time to test by increasing throttle revs. […]

Tornai to Bossuit, Belgium: A Challenging Day! Tornai to Bossuit, Belgium: A Challenging Day!

One the road again, the one – way passage through the narrow waters of Tornai would normally have made for a slow but relaxing motor, however, issues with our normally reliable Bog Bertha commenced (an Isuzu 4.5L marine diesel engine) and continued on a major scale. With the light green it was time to depart. […]

Museum Day in Tornai, Belgium Museum Day in Tornai, Belgium

his was the day Bob and I designated to visiting various museums. First off the rank was the Musẻe d’Archẻologie. Housed in what was a pawn shop in 1622, we found housed here collections dating from prehistory through to the Middle Ages. There was a font of information, including the family tree, on the Merovingian […]

Peronnes to Tornai, Belgium, in Gratis Peronnes to Tornai, Belgium, in Gratis

The bike trip to Tornai enabled us to make the decision to up moor Gratis and undertake the short motor to the Tornai mooring pontoon. It was delightful being able to view the sights from the water this time. There was even a barge undergoing the process of refuelling whilst on the move!