Gra Nomad Wanderings

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ELODIE -during wk 7

The barge, Elodie, is something else. Life on this barge is “something else”. What do I mean by that? Well, I don’t have a lot to compare it with…. Haven’t been on any other barges that I can recall. But it’s pretty special. 

There are 3 Aussie couples (Barry & Annette Lawrence from Nowra – the couple we’ve been travelling round Europe with for 6 weeks; Bernie & Janice Fitzpatrick from Wollongong; Fay and I.) All Aussies are 60 plus and are ex teachers. There are 2 couples from USA (Dick and Alicia from North Carolina, late 70’s; Kurt and Mary Kay from Portland Oregon – nearly as old as us Aussies.) Then there’s our male cook Sander, tour guide Nina and our trainee tour guide Dini (both guides are ladies from the Netherlands), our skipper Michael (pronounced Michelle) and another skipper who came on board yesterday…. Wamme.

Tour guide Nina and Dini

Typical daily sched is something like this: barge fires up around 7 am and then departs moorings and goes to where the group are gonna bike from. Meanwhile,  scrumptious brekky at 8 am and then at about 9 am the 10 cyclists, with our 2 tour guides, all get off the barge with our bikes (provided for us by Elodie) and head off. We pack a lunch to go which we have somewhere enroute. Sounding pretty neat? Sure is.
We ride about 50 km (or whatever) and return to the barge at its new moorings at the end of our ride… early afternoon - or late! (It travels along during the day just as we travel along – different routes though.)  
In the evening we enjoy a deliciously prepared three course meal, explained by Sander. Tea/coffee always available and drinks in the fridge can be purchased on an honour system. Then we can do a walking excursion to the town/city where we are moored. Or just sit around and relax. 
 Richard and Alicia from North Carolina
 Crossing a bridge - or was it a dyke?

 Barry shields Janice from the prevailing winds. 

Day 1 was in Brugge with a short 15 km trial ride. Day 2 was Brugge to Gent. Day 3 is Gent to Hansweert – going from Belgium to the Netherlands. More info as it comes to hand. So far, so good! 

 Fay doing battle with cobblestones - in the country!

That’s probably enough for a start.   


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