A typical day might begin as the smell of freshly brewing coffee wafts through the interior of the barge and breakfast thoughts tempt you from your slumber. After refreshing showers, one or more of us heads off on the bikes to the local boulangerie for day fresh breads and pastries.
A leisurely continental breakfast then ensues, more often than not, enjoyed outside on the bow bench. A feast of freshly brewed coffee, breakfast teas, fruit juice, cereals, baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat, ham, cheeses, jams, yogurt and maybe boiled eggs. Just what you need to set you up for the day.
The rest of the day is very much a moveable feast. We often (but not always) cast off and cruise for a few hours each morning, reaching the next overnight stop by about two o'clock. During this time, you can relax, help out aboard or (where possible) walk or cycle the towpath alongside the canal. Often, you'll be able to walk faster than the barge! Above all, the cruising time is about relaxation and absorbing the gorgeous scenery as we pass through it. Sometimes (but not always), we cruise in the afternoons and sometimes all day. Sometimes we even enjoy where we are so much that we decide to stay for an additional day.
A light lunch will often be taken 'on the hoof' but more usually after mooring up for the day. This generally consists of freshly prepared salads, cheeses, cold meats, crusty local breads, pickles and time permitting a hot dish such as quiche Lorraine, tartiflette, French fries or jacket spuds. All washed down with a nice glass of local wine.
In the afternoons, you are free to explore the new locale by foot, ships cycle or by maybe taking a bus, train or taxi to some nearby attraction should it take your fancy. Alternatively, you can simply laze around, soak up the sun, read, paint or sleep off the lunch!
Dinner is a wonderful part of the day. After an early evening glass of wine or beer aboard, you might choose to head off to some agreeable little restaurant or cafe you discovered nearby.
Other times, particularly if moored in some rural idyll miles from anywhere, we'll self cater aboard or organise a barbeque on the canal side.
On many occasions, you get to know people on other craft, sometimes mooring in identical locations more than once. Impromptu parties are not unknown!
Nilaya has a pretty comprehensively equipped galley, so you are welcome to grab yourselves produce from the local markets, rustle up meals, a cup of tea, make a sandwich or cook exactly as you please. Don't forget that you'll have to help with the washing up too!
It's your holiday, so you can treat my barge as your own home away from home.
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