Before completing the sale we wanted to take Piedaleau for our final cruise. We decided to head for the Sambre and get as far as we could / want to go in the time we have. We set off on Weds 23rd Sept along the Escaut, turned onto the Canal du Centre (Belgium) and stopped at Peronnes for the night. We were last there about 5 years ago and it has changed a lot!
Smart new visitors’ mooring jetty and lots of development in what had been disused boat workshops. Quite an entertainment area now with go carting, children’s play area and new bars and restaurants. It was a lovely afternoon so we went for a walk and then stopped at a bar for a beer – what a beer menu!!!
We spent ages trying to make our choices —— needless to say the one Adrian chose was ‘fini’ so he reverted to Paix Dieu, his old favourite.
A little more walking and we repaired to the restaurant in the old boat warehouse. A most interesting development – they have tried to incorporate photgraphs & artefacts found in the building.
I particularly liked the boat engine air filters which had been upcycled for lighting! And the food was pretty good too!
I awoke to a misty morning over the grand large at Peronnes……
But the mist soon lifted and the sailing school got into action before we left.
We headed off along the Canal du Centre aiming to stop at Pommeroeul – an area in front of unused canal which we have enjoyed before. Not any longer! Big works are in progress around the area, so stopping there was not an option for a peaceful night. We went onto Mons and thought we would stay a couple of nights – never really explored Mons. Unfortunately a speedboat extravaganza was scheduled for the weekend and so we set off early on Friday morning behind a french peniche, getting used to some deep locks and industrial areas again.
We got to Thieu and decided to go up into the Port de Plaisance since rain was forecast for Saturday and we would need electricity for more than a one night stay.
We took advantage of the weather on Friday afternoon to revisit the Strepy-Thieu boat lift as tourists. It really is an amazing feat of engineering which you can see from miles around!