Barging from Loire to Burgundy
The journey begins . . . here.
Friday 8th June 2018
We had invited the South African girl and her family for tapas on our boat. Since my better half and I are vegan chefs we always feel a bit of self-imposed pressure to make sure we serve something a bit nicer than nice. We also tend to make a lot of our food from scratch as it really does taste better and cleaner. Both of us enjoy cooking so it’s not a hardship. My husband made a carrot “smoked salmon” the day before which he partially air dried as we don’t have a dehydrator on board. I wanted to make a vegan mozzarella cheese and a vegan cream cheese. (check out our food on Green & Vegan)
We’re exceptionally lucky to have a nice kitchen (galley) on Shangri La, except for one thing – it doesn’t have an oven. That’s not been a problem as we do pot roasts and have a ceramic pan that as good as bakes. I make chickpea frittatas in it by covering the pan with a plate and leaving it to cook for about half an hour. We also have a mini BBQ which we use to bake and grill veggies on the back deck. The kitchen has an array of herbs and spices, heavy chopping boards, good quality knives, etc.
Shangri La is a lovely boat. She’s 12.60 metres long, which means she can fit into most marinas, but she’s big enough that we have room to move about inside. She’s 3.60 metres wide which again, gives extra room, but allows us to fit side by side in a lock with another boat. Her depth is 1.15, metres so we’re able to travel on most canals in France, only one or two exceptions, and there are other ways to get to those places. Her maximum height is 5.50 metres but if we drop all her gear she goes down to 2.75 metres. So again, she fits under most bridges. Being on the tall side is great as we have much better and wider views than a low boat.
One thing we particularly like is she has separate toilet (heads) and shower. The toilet is accessible via the lounge (saloon) meaning guests don’t have to come into our room at night to use the loo. She has nice big water and fuel tanks – both 750 litres. We’ve never run out of water no matter how much we use. And can top up with fuel when we find bargain prices so we always have an ample supply.
Shangri La was built in 1992 and we’re only her third owners. Here’s what we know about her. The original owner was a Belgian ship captain and he had her custom built by Gys Van Der Valk in the Netherlands. The Van Der Valk brothers used to work together but Wim Van Der Valk went on his own to build a different type of boat. Our boat is a Dutch steel motor cruiser. Inside there are lovely brass nautical touches. A clock that chimes the bells at four-hour periods which is unique to boats. We’ve gotten used to it and can tell the time by hearing the clock. There’s a hanging brass lamp in the kitchen (galley). The whole interior has walnut paneling and the attention to detail is evident when you look at the cupboards – the wood grains line up. Shangri La has heaps of storage space and cupboards.
The Belgian chap sold to a German couple who spent many happy years on Shangri La. She went all over France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. I wasn’t present when the boat was handed over, but my other half says it was emotional. They have followed our blogs and commented on our adventures. The German couple left lots of maps, good quality tools and kitchenware on the boat which we were happy to have. My husband bought Shangri La in 2012. Our reason for wanting to sell is we live in South Africa and frankly it’s too far to get the most out of having a boat. Plus, I have a South African passport and thus a limit on the amount of time I can spend in the EU. We can only hope Shangri La is as loved by her next owners as she has been by the previous owners and by us. I always feel happy in our boat. As if there was always a lot of love and joy associated with her.
The journey continues . . . . . . on this link.