The quest for a gas hose

Not a very entertaining today. But I am getting quiet desperate at the moment. I need to get a new gas hose connecting the fridge to the gas pipe, as the old one has got brittle.

I have been visiting two camping specialists, several gas part suppliers and assorted hardware stores. This being Ireland nobody would admit that he hasn’t got a clue, but sends you on to next next shop that sure will have what I need.
So I hope that someone will really have an idea where I can order/ get one made/ swap against my first born one of these (about 2 feet, 60 cm long).





Summer in Brittany (Day 21)

Les Pieux – Cherbourgh

Friday, 15.08.2014

lots of km


There wouldn’t be much left to say other than that we get on the ferry that will bring us back to the Emerald Isle. But the ferry only leaves at 20.30 and we have left the day to while away. We have to leave the camp-site by 12.00 and get the most out of it with swimming, playground and all that.

The plan then is to visit the Cité de la Mer. This great attraction is right by the harbor in the middle of Cherbourg. And it really is an amazing place. Its separated in four distinct areas. The nuclear submarine Redoutable in a dry-dock, a collection of huge fish tanks, including the deepest fish tank on earth, a multimedia “Walk under the sea” and a Titanic department. While the walk under the sea and the Titanic thingy are  a bit too much multimedia for my taste, the sub and the fish tanks are worth every penny.

The Redoutable is a real, 128m long, cold war nuclear sub. The reactor section has been cut out and replaced by a dummy after the ship has been brought to its present dry dock. As a visitor you can walk it the whole length from stern to bow. An absolute must for anybody who has even only a passing interest in ships.


The reactor control room.


Dive! Dive!


Unfortunately I don’t manage to get any proper shots of the fish tanks. But they really are a must see.

After all that we drive the last few meters to wait for the ferry. After boarding we have our picnic (whole roast chicken with fresh bread an red wine) which sure is much better then what they sell you in the canteen.

All that’s left to finish of this great holiday are some impressions from Cherbourg harbour.




Thanks for reading.

Summer in Brittany (Day 20)

Les Pieux

Thursday, 14.08.2014

lots of km


This being the last real day of holiday I booked in for a special. This:


Land yachting, just THE sport for the ale-drinking pie-eating narrowboater. Why? Simply because every pound you have been told you are overweight directly converts into speed. Heavier -> Faster. While all them super-sports with there six-packs struggle not to get just blown away and topple all over the place truly yours is only stopped by the sonic barrier. And it gives quiet a bit more adrenalin then ditch crawling. So just right to remove some mental spider webs.  Its just huge fun. Whenever you have a chance, do it.  Even if you have got a six-pack.

Meanwhile the child is tidying up the beach. It really needs it. All them stones.


Once the child is finished, it wants ice cream.


We get a call from a friend from Ireland. He has just arrived in Cherbourg en route to Germany. We invite him over and spend a pleasant evening while sticking to the traditions.

Summer in Brittany (Day 19)

Les Pieux -round Cotentin – Les Pieux

Wednesday, 13.08.2014

lots of km


Of course, as we are ready for a beach holiday, the weather turns cold. Not nasty wet cold, but too cold for lying at the beach cold. So after a nice breakfast with fresh baguette and pain au chocolate courtesy of the on site mini mart we head of to discover Cotentin.  Cotentin is the piece of France that sticks out into the channel, just east of the channel islands.

The first port of call is the Centrale nucléaire de Flamanville just down the road. As much as I like France and the French, they are total twats when it comes to nuclear safety. Look at that picture and you can see another Fukushima just waiting to happen. And they are building a third reactor just now. Right by the sea. With nothing to protect them from it. Did I say twats already?



We keep going north along the coast and reach the dunes of Beville nature reserve. A really impressive assortment of dunes. What a great place to have some playtime in the Landy. But that’s of course strictly verboten.



Along narrow winding country roads, through tiny, most beautiful little villages, we carefully tread our way to the Cap de la Hague and the Nez de Jobourg, at the top north-western corner of the Normandy peninsula. Courtesy to the Variscan orogeny there is a quiet spectacular coast line to enjoy.


Alderney is just a good swim away.


The phare de Goury keeps carefree narrow-boaters clear off the rocky shores.


After all that excitement we seek out a MonstroMart in Cherbourg in order to stock up on wine for the cold winter months that are lying ahead. Back on the camps site we do a round of swimming and then join the evening routine of alcohol abuse.

Summer in Brittany (Day 18)

St-Nicolas-des-Eaux – Les Pieux (Normandy)

Tuesday, 12.08.2014

lots of km


Today is the last day with Argo in water, also not quiet the last day of the holiday.  When we planned the holiday we decided to book three nights on a nice campsite by the beach to please the child. All that is kind of wasted, as the child, as always, loves being on a boat and is therefore quiet ambivalent to the prospect of a beach holiday. As a parent you cannot win.

So at least I don’t want to spare you the last boating pictures.




Idyllic, isn’t it? But this has to end. Sharp 9.00 we lock up through ecluse St-Nicolas, as the slipway is above the lock. An hour later the boat is on the trailer, mast and auxiliary outboard removed and everything brought to a roadworthy state, or so we hope. We wave farewell to the lovely french couple and this friendly place and start our journey towards Les Pieux. The road trip is mostly uneventful but quiet a drag, as it is another hot day.

Late afternoon we reach the campsite Le Grand Large. I am quiet happy, that I have booked upfront. Also the receptionist is very friendly her jaw drops as she looks outside and sees what she has never seen before. The boss is called and he asks if I have a remote control. Asks me: “For what?”. Says he: “For the trailer.” I’m puzzled. It turns out that the world has changed since I last went camping in anger. Practically all of the Tupperware on this campsite can be propelled remotely controlled by electric motors. So the owners of the planet eating 4x4s and their monstrous caravans never needed to learn how to drive. All my life I have suspected something along that line and so I’m quiet pleased that I finally got to the bottom of it.

Now watch landlubbers how it it is done old-school. Without going too much into detail, its suffice to say that we managed to park up without causing an unduly amount of havoc. Camping. On the beach. My ass.

But it must be said that the camp site deserves every single of its 5 stars. The facilities are all quiet new and absolutely spotless, there are two swimming pools, play ground, bouncing castle and the crew are still friendly after all. And they better be, as Argo and here crew very much add to the attractions of the campsite. Within the hour every single soul has turned up to stare at, film or photograph that thing that stands out between their manicured, polished, bank-owned mega-caravans like a wart. I start liking that camping idea.

We are happy to integrate with the locals and therefore do what we are supposed to do. Swimming in the pool, having a beer at the bar, having a BBQ and looking at the sunset, having a few sun-downers (before, while, after), having another beer at the bar. It really is nice. Kind of.


Summer in Brittany (Day 17)

St-Nicolas-des-Eaux – Dinan – St-Nicolas-des-Eaux

Monday, 11.08.2014

lots of km


Today’s task is to travel back to Dinan, collect the Landy and trailer and bring it back to St-Nicolas-des-Eaux. This is left to the captain, while the crew will spend a relaxed day at the boat. No pics as i forgot to bring the camera.

I set of at 9.00 in the morning to get a taxi to Pontivy. The station is another rather sad view, as no train has stopped here in many a year. But the elderly station master does his best to fly the flag of tradition. He is adorned in his best uniform selling bus tickets for the three or four busses leaving the station a day. Meanwhile his mistress keeps the waiting hall spotlessly clean. Really a strange  sight this couple trying to stem the tide, inspiring and sad all the same.

I have two hours to kill so I walk to the center to find that the weekly market is on the go. As sad the rest of this town is, the market is a real bummer. There is so much delicious fresh food offered, that I almost walk away without anything as I can’t come up with a decision what to get.

Finally the bus to Rennes arrives and I hope on. The three hour ride is rather unexciting until we get to Rennes proper where the driver discoverers his racing skill and starts overtaking slow cars on the wrong sides of traffic islands and takes traffic lights only as suggestions. We get to the bus station alive and I secure a ticket to Dinan. Another hour to wait. While the bus station is dull and uninviting, the Gare de SNCF next door has the expected French grandeur. There is even a full sized piano on a red carpet in the middle of the station played by a seemingly professional piano player.

Another hour on a bus then gets me to Dinan. Luckily there is a Taxi just waiting for me to get me to Camping Petit Lyvet. The Landy starts at the first turn of the key *add sigh of relieve*. While I have spent nine hours on Public transport with a lot of waiting, the car journey back to St-Nicolas-des-Eaux takes me just under two hours.

Meanwhile on the boat: The lovely french couple have seemingly taken a liking of the child and invite him for some Crepe and take him to the playground so that the IO has some time to here own to relax. Looks like I pulled the short straw today.

After dinner we have the lovely French couple offer and spend another evening getting rid of some alcohol.



Summer in Brittany (Day 16)

Ecluse 20 Manè-er-Ven – St-Nicolas-des-Eaux

Sunday, 10.08.2014

11 Locks  27 km


Today will see yesterdays journey in reverse. Suffice to say that it is yet another day of glorious hazy sunshine. Being Sunday the towpath is full with weekenders cycling or walking. The only highlight of the cruise is madame éclusier selling us a loaf of hemp bread baked by here husband. No side effects.


Back in St-Nicolas-des-Eaux we spot this beauty. A Merc transporter from 1961 converted into a camper. As we used to own one of theses many moons ago we chat up the owner and his missus, a couple from Belgium. They are so proud of the motor and its conversion, that we are given a 90 min tours, without the slightest chance to pull out. Memories……


We spend a very nice evening with the couple from next boat. The guys who delayed our ascend of the Hilvern summit in there white aircraft carrier :-). But very nice people they are and a few bottles of red and calvados are emptied that night.