Today we had a leisurely start. We first went to the supermarket in Snaaskerke to top up on food supplies. We had to buy bottled water, as there was nowhere to top up our large canister with drinking water. After a good breakfast and coffee we set off at 10.50 towards Nieuwpoort. The weather was bright and sunny, but the wind across the open fields either side made steering a little more difficult. Thankfully the canals in this region are very straight. More bridges to be opened along the way, but we made it to the Westhoek marina at Nieuwpoort at 12.30.We moored up alongside the Diesel pump to find that it was not self service, you have to ring the Harbourmaster to come and fill it for you. Martin rang the number, but was told by the Harbourmaster that he was on a day off today, and that he could come and fill the tank tomorrow morning. Martin thanked him, and let him know that we would be moving on from here today. We tried to fill up our water canister as well, but again, this can only be done by the Harbourmaster. We had several bottles of water that we purchased earlier in the morning, so we opted for a leisurely lunch before setting off towards Veurne.We finally reached the outskirts of Veurne around 17.45. We stopped at a double bridge configuration, the first was a railway bridge followed closely by a road bridge. We called on the VHF radio for permission to pass through both bridges but as usual we did not receive an immediate answer. We waited and waited. In the end I managed to find a phone number in one of my e-books about canal routes in Belgium. We rang, by this time it was about 18.10.Martin: Hello could you open the rail bridge for us pleaseBridge operator: Sorry the bridge closed at 18.00, It will open at 9am tomorrow.
This was frustrating, as we had been trying before 18.00 to get through. So we moored up not far from the bridge, and wandered into the centre of Veurne. We had a much shorter day today, and we were far less tired than on previous evenings, so we ventured out for the evening. Veurne has many old buildings and a lovely square in the middle called Grote Market. One of their churches has a lovely tuneful clock (a much nicer chime than Big Ben we thought).
We decided to eat out this evening, we had not really had any meat (other than some bacon for breakfast some days, or cold meat in sandwiches), so we both had steak and chips. We liked Veurne, and have decided that it would be a place that we would like to come back and visit again some day. Photo’s of Veurne are to follow, as they are all on Martin’s phone.