Last weekend we went in search of our travelling friend Philip. We'd heard he was going to be in Brussels so we took a drive down to Anderlecht, where I used to have my own boat, and where we knew he would be heading for. We found his barge but sadly, he wasn't there. We also took a drive along the row of barges lying there and saw my old Ténacité, which didn't make me happy. It's looking very sad and messy. There are some things I regret. That's one of them. One thing I don't regret is leaving there, though. The feeling about the place is not good and it's not a happy community. I like the developments to this barge, however. it's looking a lot brighter and more loved than it used to be. Fun, isn't it? If you click on the photo, you can just see Philip's wheelhouse in the background too.
From there, we went on to another favourite haunt - Clabecq - where we walked along the canal and met Philippe, a French speaking Belgian friend who lives on his tjalk, the Prosper. He was also a little sad due to personal problems, but we had coffee with him and enjoyed sitting on the bankside in the sunshine. Clabecq remains the place where we will always wish we'd been able to stay. It's a lovely informal community, but it seems its days might be numbered and they may all be moved elsewhere in the future. Just as well it remained a dream perhaps.
When we left Philippe, we went on to Ittre. This was where I did have a mooring organised for the Ténacité before I sold it, and it is a really beautiful spot. Still, we were surprised to see how many barges were moored up along the stretch by the lock, and in a way, were glad we hadn't gone there, as it has now lost its marvellous peace. But it's still beautiful.
Ittre is remarkable for its 14 metre deep lock, which is pretty impressive when it's empty or you are at the top looking down. The photo above shows the area in front of the lock, so you can see its depth. In the one below, it's full and looks calm, totally normal and peaceful. The last picture is of the row of barges now moored there. The Ténacité would have been one of them at one time. Ah well.... it was good to go back all the same.
All photos here are Koos's. I was using my old Olympus Trip 35 that day and am just waiting for the film to come back. I've now decided there's a place for both analogue and digital - one for the nice prints and the other for the Internet and nice slide shows!