We finally arrived back at our Joie de Vivre after an epic journey via Singapore to Frankfurt then a train to Brussels and onto Brugge. The 8 hour stop over in Singapore was a trial and the flight to Frankfurt was an hour longer than expected, due to our path being diverted around Ukraine. Landing at 7.50am we made a mad dash through customs and baggage collection to catch the 8.30am train!
Our summer home was shipshape and ready for the cruising season. There was a minor hiccup when the tv satellite didn’t rise to the occasion, but following my son Nicks advice we lubricated the arms, and voila we had TV.
After 3 days in Brugge we made our way down Ostend Ghent canal to the delightful city of Ghent. The tourists minus the Chinese are certainly back in this destination city in force. In fact the busy streets of maskless people belie the fact we are still in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.
There are a number of routes to take south on the canals when travelling from Belgium to France. We heard that there were some closures on the Dender River and we had previously taken the route through Brussels so we chose the route down the Upper Scheldt, first stop the town of Oudenaade.
We had visited Oudenaade last year, but this town had a few attributes that warranted a second visit. Firstly there is a great boulangerie around the corner from the harbour, for our daily treat of a fresh baguette and a croissant. Secondly a fabulous restaurant in a lovely old building, right on the town square and lastly, but no means lease a warehouse style supermarket that sells very drinkable bottles of wine at a Christian price.
Irrelevant notes from the captain to all of those interested in boating matters.
Our new solar panels are putting out 40 amps in full sun
The steering box has been replaced and the boat will now take the direction in which the helmsperson has set