On the Road Again!

At approximately 1805 on Wednesday 12 October  (6:05pm for you English persons!) I started down the drive (at my temporary home ? for the last two months) and was met by my Beautiful Husband Paul and our elder Basset, Tasha.  What a sight for sore eyes!

As much as I enjoyed my Netherlands stay, and immersing myself in the Wonderful World of biking as my means of transportation, I was more than massively elated to finally come to the end of my summer sojourn.

I have moved eight times since 30 May and I had had enough of being separated from my beloved family.

We had the motorhome fully (and I mean FULLY packed) in about an hours’ time.  After a few quick errands around the area, we took off for another two hour drive to Heemskerk, which is northwest of Amsterdam.

The following day we had an appointment for Tasha with a holistic vet.  This woman really knows her stuff!  She spent about 20 minutes adjusting Tasha’s back and pelvis along with acupuncture injections along her spine. We spent a good hour there and learned so much.  This vet was so accommodating and even helped us locate a campground just 20 minutes away!

After some shopping in the area we headed north again, as we had made an appointment to see our first boats—a romantic-but-not-practical antique ⛵️ sailing vessel, and a motor cruiser, the type of boat we can afford and will allow us to live our “duel life” in the motorhome for half the year, and afloat the remaining half.

We found a couple of lovely spots in which to park the motorhome for the following two nights.  The first night we were next to a small, just outside of town, marina near the town of Hindeloopen.  They even had an unlocked toilet and shower facility!  There were a couple of interesting looking characters walking about and working on their ⛵️ boats, and Paul started to make up short stories about these people that were quite intriguing!……More to come in the near future on this possible development–stay tuned!

On Saturday afternoon we drove to Heech and saw a couple of sailing ⛵️ vessels–a lemsteraak (which we didn’t care for), and a tjalk (another type of classic sailing ship) built in 1896.  She was a beauty and we liked her very much.  However, given what we want to do she would not be practical, so we drew a line under her and moved on.  That night we drove out towards one of the many lakes in the region and came across one of the prettiest and most tranquil spots we have seen so far.  We both spied it at the same time, turned our heads towards one another in unison, and gave it a thumbs up.

We were not disappointed.  We had an almost full moon that night, along with the lake on our right, and a beautiful meadow on our left that afforded us a wonderful view of a windmill and sailing boats making their way out towards the lake.  It was a warm and beautiful morning so we plopped the pups outside on the grass with their rawhide chews and went back to our tasks at hand.

After awhile I decided Florence needed a nice long walk and away we went.  We ended up at a campground that had facilities for our motorhome.  We raced back to Paul and told him about our find.  Next thing I knew, we were on our way there to spend the rest of the warm afternoon basking in the sun.  We ended up having a bit of lunch in the lounge chairs on a dock, reading and watching the sailboats glide by.  It was a little piece of heaven!

The next day we headed up to Leeuwarden where we finally had our first look at a motor cruiser, a Super Favorite Cruiser named “Bellissima” and beautiful she was!  We spent a good couple of hours going over her with a fine tooth comb, and were even able to take her out for a short trip.  We are both smitten…..now we have to put our practical heads together and see if we can make this dual life a possibility!

Stay tuned, more to follow soon!

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Cynthia Smith

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 7 comments
Tony - October 22, 2016

We love reading your exploits and you wayward wanderings,
Any chance of an email telling us what its costing you in diesel for the motor home compared to the cost of running the narrowboat, also was the Vet pricey
Our best wishes
Tony & Theresa
PS Did Paul manage to contact the Fellow in France that wants to sell his Barge

    Paul Smith - October 25, 2016

    Hi Tony,

    I’ll answer this as Cynthia seems to be spending most of her time trying to get her government to change her passport surname. She’s on her fourth attempt today, which involves a personal visit to the US Consulate in Amsterdam. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but I don’t expect her to get very far.

    We’ve pretty much discounted Dutch barges for now. They would stretch us too much financially. We would rather buy a boat which will do us for summer cruising than go for an all season, bomb proof Dutch barge.

    With regard to fuel consumption, my narrowboat with its 42hp Mercedes OM636 used an average of 1.37 litres an hour plodding along placid canals. I did 1,000 hours cruising last year. My average speed was 2mph. The boat we’re currently looking at has a 106hp Peugeot diesel engine. The boat cruises at 10mph and uses an average of 3 litres per hour. The waterways are much wider and deeper in the Netherlands than they are in the UK so faster cruising is normal.

    Was the vet pricey? Not according to Cynthia who has used holistic vets extensively in the past. We have visited her twice so far for one hour appointments. The total cost, including herbal medication for one dog, a new passport for one dog, worming so that they can both go back to England later in the week, full examinations for both and an acupuncture session for one was €300.

Jean Moir - October 22, 2016

Sounds like you are both enjoying it as much as each other. Great – long may it continue. Keep the reports coming please. Jeannie

    Derrick - October 23, 2016

    Hi You lovebirds,enjoyed the blog and sounds as if you are having a good time. By the way how is Paul’s thumb? hope it’s on the mend and not so soar as it looked. I’m sure you will find exactly what you are looking for so go with your gut feelings and enjoy your adventures.
    Kind regards Derrick .

      Paul Smith - October 24, 2016

      Hi Derrick,

      My thumb’s almost as good as new now. Unfortunately it’s bright pink after all the skin dropped off. I’m thinking of dying my other thumb pink to match it.

Angie Baldwin - October 22, 2016

Great to read your news, but I must have missed some somewhere- who is Florence?

Richard - October 23, 2016

Hi Cynthia, so nice to see you all happy and smiles now that the past year is behind you … and looking younger? Could be something in the Dutch water lol. Here’s to many years of fun travelling for you all.


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