On our second morning in Meulan the town finally secured its status as a recommended stopping place by opening up its Friday morning market on our doorstep, in the car park on the other side of the riverside park. An abundance of fresh produce and fish, including giant gambas from Madagascar, the like of which we had never seen. We barbecued them on the 'gorilla' that evening, and they were worth every eurocent. Not wanting to overstay our 48 hour welcome, we departed this morning after a visit to the market, and our trip was distinguished by being the first day that we could get our CMap Max charts and plotter to work. We had been asked by CMap to review their inland charts and provide additional photos, but unfortunately until now had not been able to use it due to a technical fault. On his return from holiday our contact at CMap solved the problem and we could enjoy detailed electronic charts of the inland waterways.

  • The old bridge at Poissy marks the entrance to the narrow backwater
  • The leafy surroundings of the Carr boatyard at Poissy
  • A comely wench in the Place des Capuchins

We stopped at the 'new' Port St Louis marina, which has been opened 10 years now, but still looks unfinished. The owner has struggled to make a go of the former gravel pit location, and the few day boat moorings have not provided sufficient income to develop all the advertised facilities. However, fuel was available as advertised and we took advantage of the only typically exorbitant rate of €1,35/l to top up with two hundred litres. We did not expect to find fuel again before (or after) Paris, but with around 700 litres now on board we could cruise at displacement speeds for the rest of the summer.

We were interested to check out the potential moorings at Poissy and when we arrived we recognised the old ruined bridge and found the 'Hostellerie de Bon Vivant' where we had enjoyed a Quatorze Juillet lunch in 2003. The rickety old barge where we moored has now gone, and we imagined the proprietors removing it the morning after our visit, saying, 'Vite, avant encore d'anglais arrivent!' However, the Carré chantier boatyard, accessed via two 6m bridges, was alive and well and welcomed us adequately. Most of the boats there are 'interesting' house boats or long term projects, but a space at the eastern end did us very well, and we hooked up to their power and electricity without restraint. The nearby busy rail line makes this a less than totally peaceful mooring, but at least being on a backwater there was little water based disturbance from barges or passing traffic.

The nearby town boasts a 12th century church adorned with elaborate stained glass windows, but the principal attraction on a Saturday morning seemed to be the busy shopping streets with their still successful individual butchers, bakers and fruiterers.

Dutch Waterways

Inland Waterways of the Netherlands

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Broom Owners Club

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Journals of David A Broad

Visit davidabroad.com for my daily journal from 1984 to the present day