At the 16th Oktober I left Germany again and took the fernbus to Aachen and stayed there for one night at a sister of a friend. She took me to a “Underground Heavy Metal” Party with her boyfriend. Although I´m generally not a big fan of this kind of music I really enjoyed it. So if you ever want to have a real Metal Experience I can highly recommend you the monthly “High Voltage Party” there 😉
With a little hangover the next day I continued my way to Mons and started hitchhiking. After 3 lifts and 150km I decided to take the train for the last part to arrive there in time. It was already dark when Dirk picked me up from the train station. He looked like an authentic seebear with a huge moustache and came with his dog Blacky, a little bit oversized Chihuahua. Both were nice from the first moment and after a short walk we arrived at the boat: A 10m holland cruiser sport boat. I was surprised how big my bunk was, even a 1.60m mattress fits in it. Generally, it´s impressive how much room you can have on 10m. Every small space was used: In every stair/seat/wall you´ve got some storage. After stowing my guitar and backpack we shared some coffee and talked about where to go next. From Mons he planned to drive into the Saone via the Canal St.Quentin and Marne and then follow the Rhone all the way down to the south. I asked him if it would be also possible to drive through Paris to meet up some friends and fortunately he agreed with it.
Dirk, The Watergypsy, did a radio and television electrician training and joined the army for two years. After he studied electrical engineering he worked as a self employed engineer and project leader all around the world. At the time I´ve met him, he was still working part time in Germany (2days a week+ home office) and that´s why he had to go to the area of Frankfurt once a week. It didn´t matter where he was; because of Blacky , he always took the train.The Watergypsy described himself as a Buddhist and practicing Anarchist. His dream is to be part of a living community on a boat in the international Waters. You can imagine that it can be really interesting having conversations with him, doesn´t matter which topic.
So after my first Night on the Boat we left Mons after Breakfast early in the morning. The first thing Dirk asked me was if I want to drive the boat. Of course I didn´t reject it. At first it felt a little bit strange but after a few minutes already I could manage to control the boat.
I was impressed by the beauty of the surrounding nature and wanted to take pictures right away but Dirk told me that it´ll look like that for a long time and I don´t have to hurry. He was right. With an average speed of 8 km/h it´s a completely different way of traveling. You perceive your environment totally different. For example, if you see a bridge right in front of you, you will see this bridge for half an hour until you pass it. And then you will see the bridge another half an hour when you look behind;)
59 Km driving in 7:22 hours with 40 l of fuel was the result of the first day until we reached a floodgate which was closed. Sunday….