Dear Friends, Fellow-travellers and Plaisancier-Fanciers

Bonjour Tout le Monde!

Accustomed as we are to the zeal of French officials, we were not prepared for the number of forms, questionnaires and original documents of great antiquity required in order to purchase one small fat boat. Nevertheless, we are now the fully documented owners of what is described on one of those documents as a horse drawn canal boat. Hopefully just a literal translation of the word horsepower.

While I have been diligently swotting up on French fluvial regulations and abasing myself at the collective foot of French Officialdom, mon Capitaine has literally gone overboard in preparing for our first voyage by taking part in the local Sunday yacht races. So far, he has managed to whack himself silly on the boom, to tear open his leg and to fling himself bodily into the harbour during a high sea. I’m fairly confident his new skills won’t be required on the French canals. However just in case I have assembled a comprehensive first aid kit.


We leave in a week for St-Jean-de-Losne in Burgundy to rendezvous with ‘Waiheke” and barring accidents and the inevitable  moment dans la merde, we will be on her for three months along with assorted family and friends – it would be a great comfort to me if some of you keep an eye on us on Facebook.

We have a fantastic group assembled for our brocante tour in September – several repeat offenders and two ladies who will use the opportunity to source goods for their businesses. Because several of our guests have visited the Loire with us previously we will include in our itinerary visits to a number of new shops, markets and brocanteurs. We will visit a couple of private dealers who have elected to assemble collections according to our guests’ stated preferences. They will even have their own market, set up in the grounds of the Priory where we stay, by the owners of local châteaux. 

We invest a lot of time and research into making our tours rewarding and unique for our guests – and for ourselves - it’s a real joy organising and hosting these groups. If you are tempted we suggest you check out the comments of past guests - under Guest Reviews.


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