Further boating formalities included more money, lots of paperwork and a boat introduction by a fun French fellow (we’re sure his name was Pierre. Or Armand perhaps. Or Eric even) that showed us our boat. Turns out the previous boating experience had taught us little about canal barging, and the learning curve was re-entered at the very beginning and a a few fantastic fun-filled days were about to commence.
The most important part of the introduction was how to use the kitchen and the bathroom, both of which would see a lot of action in the coming days. These two are forever seemingly inextricably linked. I’ll not spoil the surprises for those wishing to undertake a barging holiday, so will leave it there for you to find out the
hard fun way…
Sailing proved a lot harder than we remembered, the larger boat being a lot more unwieldy and with a mind of its own. Allesandro Volta was its name, and in the coming days, Allesandro showed us his quirky sense of humour and surprising lack of direction and coordination skills. What he lacked, was nowhere close to being compensated for by these four clueless sailors, and by the end of the holiday, Allesandro had become well acquainted with many lock entrances and exits, and if this was a boxing match, he’d have taken a good few standing 8-counts… Lock doors are hardy things as we were to discover, prow first!