From Deinze we set off down the wiggly-woggly Liei. This is always an interesting stretch of river – it really is wiggly with right angle & hairpin bends and narrow stretches with overhanging trees. have to keep your wits about you. At least this time, being rather late in the year, we didn’t have to contend with day boats cutting right across our bows without warning!
The small mooring at Sint Martens-Latham is a favourite of ours and of many others! Luckily there was room for us as we had arranged to meet up with Voirrey and Andy on Bella Fortuna. Just room for the 2 boats. The last time we saw them was about 2 years ago when we went to stay with them for a couple of nights at their winter mooring in Amsterdam. Really great to see them again and to hear how they had weathered Covid in the Netherlands. They moored up on deserted ‘islands’ for a week at a time before returning to civilisation to fill up with water and do the shopping. Well organised these navy types!
Voirrey and Andy spoilt us! We had Piper (what else on a Piper boat) Heidsech champagne as an aperitif and then a superb Italian meal at the I Ratazzi restaurant near the moorings. Belated wedding present! How nice is that!
Food – sampling different delicacies along the way – is an important part of the boating experience. Andy and Voirrey are real foodies and fabulous cooks, drawing on their varied cultural experiences from their time in the navy. They are also very good at finding restaurants – like I Ratazzi. So we were interested to learn of Andy’s penchant for fast food and to join them for a real cultural fast food experience! A picture paints a thousand words, as they say!
A touch of culture was required after that feast, so we went to the museum. It is in a fabulous building and houses some exquisite tapestries. Having been an Occupational Therapist all my working life (runs through me like a stick of rock) I was interested to see the looms used for the repair of tapestries.
Bella Fortuna left the next day – I wonder when and where we’ll get together again! Not too long I hope.
We stayed another day and just wandered around Lathem. The lady in the rather upmarket art gallery told us that the village used to be poor – artists came there because of this and were able to buy land by the river. The town is anything but poor these days and the houses along the river are huge and look stunning!
Latem is still a centre for artists however, with several stunning galleries. Unfortunately we couldn’t get into the church this time to see the carvings for the Stations of the Cross – I remember them as stunning.
The sculpture on the bank in front of the mooring always makes me smile!