Our Barge, Odysseus

Thursday, June 24, 2010

If This Is Thursday, It Must Be Holland

Meanwhile, the folks at Ranchot had been very accommodating. They gave us a break on the nightly fee for moorage and, when we asked at city hall if there was internet so we could make a reservation for a truck to haul the engine, they let us use their (one!) computer. (The village only has 500 people. The residents were really great and they're will be more postings about that later.)
We made a reservation with Europcar for a small van from their Dole office for Wednesday morning and checked the train schedules. Wednesday we took the 8 am commuter train to Dole, picked up the truck, which was much bigger than we needed but the smallest they had available, and headed back for Ranchot.
About 2:30, Bouba appeared and we set to work, Don being the assistant. By about 4:30, the engine was disconnected and lifted out of it's spot but we awaited the arrival of Boubas weightlifter friend, Guy, who was going to help muscle the engine out of the boat and into the van.

Bouba and his assistant are pleased with their work!

Up the stairs to the van.

A little giddy after a hard afternoon's work. Bouba and Guy.

That done, we headed out for Holland at about 7:30 pm. We had to be to Drinkwaard as early as possible on Thursday so they could transfer parts from the existing engine onto the new one and get us out of there by Friday morning.
It was lucky the van was big. We were able to put some foam bedding from our aft cabin in the back of the van with the engine and, when we stopped for the night (morning!) about 1 am, we could curl up with it for a couple hours sleep; a kind of wake. We pulled into Drinkwaard's shop in Sleidrecht about 9 am, they offloaded the engine and we found a hotel nearby, although our room wouldn't be ready until after noon. We took the bus into the city center of Doordrecht, Holland's oldest chartered city, had a look around and some lunch, came back to the hotel room and collapsed.
We had dinner at the hotel, watched Mexico demolish France in the World Cup (Viva El Tri!), and went off to dreamland.
After breakfast at the hotel, we headed back to Sleidrecht where we waited for the paint to dry on the new engine. Euros were exchanged, the engine was loaded up and by 11 am, we were on the road back to France.

The new Herr Mercedes.

Arco congratulates Don on his recent purchase.
Don grits his teeth.

We pulled into Ranchot about 7:30 pm, sent a text to Emma letting her know we had returned and the return message said Bouba and Guy would arrive about 9 on Saturday morning for the installation.

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