Not quite according to plan!

Well the day started nicely with sunshine streaming in through the windows and we set off to return to the boat lift.

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As it wasn’t raining I got a good view of the surroundings as we went down.

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Next stop was a nearby mariner where we had been told we could get water.  Having moored up the Harbour Master paid a visit and told us no, then yes. Confused Graham tried the tap and it worked, then it didn’t.  Hmm there was no way we were leaving without at least some water.  Jill marched into the office and came out triumphant.  We needed to buy tokens to operate the tap.  This we duly did and soon had lots of lovely water in our tanks.  I don’t really agree with paying for water but when you consider how cheap the licence is then you can’t complain.

Onward to the self-operated lock. 
I pushed the green pole up and we re-entered the lock with no problems and, all safely tied off, began our descent.  
Suddenly Jill shouts out – her rope is stuck and she can’t release it.  Rapidly she pulls on the red pipe (stop) but it takes too long to stop the water level dropping and Matilda Rose is beginning to hang.  Kevin was quick to get a knife from our kitchen and Graham sliced through the rope releasing Matilda Rose who bounced back to find her level. 

Thank goodness no harm was done but we were all pretty shaken up by the experience expecially poor Jill and none of us will travel without a sharp knife close to hand again.

Once we had collected ourselves the blue pipe (go) was pulled and we waited … and waited but the level didn’t change. We tried phoning the numbers displayed but they weren’t being answered so finally Kevin radioed the boat lift and one of the men came and reset it all, phew!  Right, I thought, lets get on with the day.

Next stop was the Ascenseur de Strepy-Thieu, the tallest boat lift in the world.

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I must be really getting used to all these new things because this didn’t phase me a bit.  We chugged in behind a big barge and tied off.

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Here we waited while we were moved up 73.15 metres. It was very smooth indeed.

Unfortunately Kevin missed most of the lift because he was called into the office to produce documentation.

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Above is the view to the back when we first entered. Below is the view when we’d finished.

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Here’s Matilda Rose leaving the lift …

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Although it was a bit of an anticlimax its nice to say “I’ve been on the tallest boat lift in the world”!

We have moored up for the night in an private mariner in (according to my map) Seneffe but I could be wrong!

Tomorrow is another first … we will be heading towards Plan incline de Ronquieres which is a different type of boat lift.

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