These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over nine years now and are still loving it. Our Ulster born Shih Tzu, Shannon, has grown up, and has taken over the boat! After three wonderful years in Ireland, we transported The Puzzler to The Netherlands, and spent a year there. In 2015 we went southwards, to reach the north of France by June. After glorious weather throughout the summer, we arrived in Roanne in late October, and enjoyed our winter in this friendly port. We cruised extensively in France in 2016 and 2017, returning to Roanne each winter.

Friday, 1 June 2012

29th May - 1st June. Down the River Shannon via Athlone and Clonmacnoise to the Grand Canal

The wind had dropped by Tuesday morning so it was off down the River Shannon to Athlone. This is the first time we have seen a train on the railway bridge here.

Tesco is quite a walk from the river, but the riverside road is good for the trolley!

There seems to be very little topsoil above the rocky base, but there is enough grass to keep the cattle happy.

Three men in a boat. This looks very precarious!

Clonmacnoise is as impressive as ever. There was a cathedral here as long ago as the 14th Century.

St. John's Castle overlooks the mooring at Clonmacnoise. It was destroyed by an explosion, many centuries ago.

The Viking trip boat turns to come into its designated mooring.

It really is a stately galleon!

Sally goes to take a line as he comes in to the jetty. At this point all passengers are being firmly told to stay in their seats until the boat is securely tied up.

Safely in by the jetty. This spot is reserved for the Viking Ship.

Della and Steve have arrived from England recently with Talitha II, and we enjoyed exchanging our experiences of Ireland.

As we cruise south from Clonmacnoise, the Shannon River widens out, and we are a long way from both banks. It is a very big river here.

The topsoil here is much deeper, above the subsoil.

The Shannon Bridge power station is run on peat.

We turn off the River Shannon on to the Grand Canal. It is not very obvious at first that this is the right way to go.

However there is a sign to confirm that this is the correct turning.

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