Marcoing, St Quentin canal basinApril 24 in France ⋅ 🌬 19 °C
We've returned to Marcoing, where we spent days 4 and 5 of this tour, back in June 2016. We've made good progress on our journey towards Calais, so will spend 2 nights here (days 1032 and 1033 of our tour)! Wow, how time flies!
Although Marcoing provides a free aire, we've been cheeky and parked instead at a rectangular basin that forks at a right angle off the St Quentin canal. Here, Will can sit out in front of the van with his rods, nipping back in if the rain gets too heavy. Although he brought a small amount of fishing gear with him when we first set off, his interest in the activity has really grown over the years. He finds he can achieve a state of quiet concentration when sitting, watching the little florescent float. Time spent doing this is good for his mental health and helps him achieve a balance; something that is especially important for those affected by bipolar.
From inside the van Vicky knits, glancing up every now and then to watch the blustery conditions blow pink cherry blossom from the trees on the opposite side of the basin. They are growing in a grassy, recreational area with picnic benches while a small group of wild rabbits tend to the grass and daisys.
During the course of the afternoon she gets a phonecall from the Camping and Caravanning Club. We joined earlier in the year as a way to access their Certified Sites in the UK when it looked like we might need to spend some extended periods there. One advantage of our membership is a 10% discount on the price of ferry crossings. They were calling to check we hadn't made a mistake when booking a long weekend in the UK! Yes, we realise the majority of Brits booking ferries will be taking a 3 day break in France rather than England but we really did mean to sail from Calais to Dover and back again!
On the second day Vicky found the boulangerie 1km away and fetched a baguette and croissants for breakfast. Later we were joined by some some British boaters, who manoeuvred into the small basin in Pavant, their large Dutch Barge, where they live with their two dogs, Tintin and Morpheus, a beautiful German Shepherd. They are exploring the French canals for the first time but have permanent moorings in Belgium. They have recently applied for Belgian residency, but hold out little hope of getting it and are seriously worried about Brexit.
Will spent the rest of the day fishing. His persistence hadn't paid off yesterday, but today he caught a small, unidentified fish, a Perch and a decent sized Silver Bream. The two night stay had done us good and we were ready to hit the road the following morning.Read more