Wednesday 30th May
And at last I am back aboard Shangri La in Roanne!
It is always a bit of a trek to get back on board, but this time it was exacerbated by the French rail strike. I had booked my flight from London to Lyon some time ago for Monday 28th , planning to take the train on to Roanne late afternoon/early evening. But Monday and Tuesday were planned strike days so I overnighted for 2 nights in Lyon. Not a problem as we love Lyon and I visited a couple of vegan restaurants. Wednesday the trains were operating , and I made the 1 hour 20 min trip to Roanne where another kind boater, Peter, fetched me in his car and took me to the port and Shangri La.
The day was spent removing covers, erecting awnings, de-wintering the water system and generally getting Shangri La operating.
Thursday 31 May to Monday 4th June
Karen was due to join me on 4th June. I had a few jobs I wanted to get done before she arrived. The major one was to replace the tappit cover gasket on the main engine. I brought some gasket cork over with me. This job went seemingly well, and when I ran up the engine there are no more apparent oil leaks.
The other one was a bit of a toilet overhaul. This did not go so well. Could not get to the part I wanted to replace. Job deferred! At least the toilet still works.
Back in culinary mode I made a French Ratatouille for supper and met Karen at the Gare de Roanne on Monday evening. Great to have my better half back with me.
Tuesday 5th to Sunday 10th June
A generally pleasant few days aboard – always something to attend to on a boat – but also wandering around Roanne and of course shopping and stocking up for the trip. Each year we are in France there are more vegan options available. The local supermarket has a good selection of plant milks and some vegan items. But there is an organic shop – La P’tite Maison which has a great selection of meat substitute products including tofu and seitan.
The weather alternates between stinking hot and pouring with rain! Our sun shade awnings are up, but on the other hand I am trying to do some external painting which is not happening due to the rain. Oh well there is still plenty of time.
And we are both getting back in the galley. We have some friends coming over for snacks. I have managed to make my version of vegan ‘smoked salmon’ (carrot lox) and Karen is making some vegan cheezes and vegan mayo.
There is a whole community of permanent and semi-permanent boaters in the port, with the whole range of types of boats, Dutch steel like ours up to huge Dutch barges. Thursday evenings is the weekly get together at a local pub right next to the port. We got to chat to several of them and picked up all sorts of useful information. Also, the word that Shangri La is on the market is spreading!
Finally did manage to get coach-top painted white. Looks so much better.