My Travel Blog

Barging – More Than Eating, Drinking and Making Merry

Lisa and I were just talking about our blogs while enjoying a fantastic meal at A la Cote St. Jacques. It is a very special restaurant that has two Michelin stars. Lisa was saying that unless you’ve actually stayed on Rabelo you would think by reading our blogs that all we do is eat, drink and sight-see. Before replying I took another sip from the fabulous Burgundian primer cru we had just ordered, and then a bite of the Panache de Foie Gras appetizer, “That’s ridiculous.  Why would anyone think that all we do is eat, drink and sight-see? Barging is so much more. In fact it’s hard work. Please pass the butter for these fabulous rolls.  I think I prefer the sweet butter to the salted.  What about you?”

Lisa and I going out to eat at A la Cote St. Jacques.

Foie Gras appetizer.

Two kinds of butter along with salt and pepper.

Lobster for one of the two main courses.

The selection of cheeses for our cheese course.

The reality is that we tend to only write about the highlights of our cruising adventures. Those highlights invariably include eating great meals, drinking fine wine, and sightseeing. So yes, if you think that’s all we do you are forgiven.  The reality is we are not on vacation.  We are not staying in a hotel or eating all of our meals out. Cruising for us is a lifestyle. Many of the things we have to do on Rabelo we don’t do back home.  In fact Lisa spends far more time in Rabelo’s kitchen than at home. That’s not to say she isn’t an incredible chef that prepares fantastic meals for me at home.Remember, Lisa also reads my blog. But I digress.I was talking about all those wonderful chores like cleaning the showers and toilets that we have to do on Rabelo. That’s right, part of my job description as captain, whenever Lisa gives me permission, is that I get to clean our bathroom, cabin, and the pilothouse every Saturday. While I’m happy to help out and do the dishes at home you can forget about me cleaning toilets or showers.

Having a delicious Australian BBQ on our friends Peter and Amanda’s boat Piglet. From left to right is Peter, Captain Kevin, friends Chris and Sherry.

Amanda, Lisa and I enjoying a BBQ on Piglet.

Walking back to Rabelo after the BBQ we saw this mass of what we believe were May Flies.

Peter was impressed that we carry a car on Rabelo, but he wasn’t about to be out done.

A hot air balloon passes over Rabelo.

While barging I also help Lisa shop for food.  Do you know how often I walk into a market back home?  That’s right, the answer is a big fat zero, zilch, nada.  I hate shopping, except when I’m in France. So why is shopping in France so appealing? There are a couple of reasons.  The primary one is that Lisa makes me go with her. Okay, I actually enjoy shopping here because it is a challenge. The markets are laid out completely differently from the ones in the states, and then there are the labels, which I can’t read.  That’s why a shopping foray in France is a minimum two-hour ordeal.Then there are the farmer’s markets, which Lisa wouldn’t think of missing.  While the super markets, other than Grand Frais, don’t have a very good selection of fresh fruits and vegetables the farmers markets are a vegetarian dream.  That is not to suggest that either Lisa or I are vegetarians unless you don’t count things like pate, Foie Gras, duck, mussels or the occasional hamburger and steak. Oh yes, I almost forgot there are also lardons, prosciutto, chicken, and all the cheese we love so much. We are definitely not vegetarians. We are unabashed omnivores.

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels

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About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.