These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over eight 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, returning to Roanne for a second winter.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

4th - 12th Jan. A visit to Florence Court.

We still continue to play both bowls and bridge regularly.
A waterboarder went upstream past the Round "O". She tried to go up through Enniskillen Bridge but failed, which was not surprising. There is quite a flow on the River Erne at present.

We went walking at Florence Court, which is a splendid 18th century mansion and is the former home of the Earls of Enniskillen. It is set in acres of fields and woodland with many lovely walks.
In this building, in the grounds of Florence Court, there is an operational sawmill, which has been there since 1848. It is powered by a waterwheel, which is activated by the water feeding across from the stream above it.
The waterwheel can be seen close behind the building.

It is quite impressive.

We carried on further round the grounds to the pretty thatched summerhouse. The clematis, on the front arch above Violet and Andy, will be lovely in a couple of months time.
Time for a rest! The walls are lined with small branches, while the rustic furniture inside this delightful building is also made by using natural shapes in the wood.

We looked at the view, while Joe checked out the path in front of the summer house.
Having completed our circuit, we walked back past the main house. We really appreciated our visit here, having heard so much about Florence Court. It certainly lived up to our expectations.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

31st Dec 2012 - 3rd Jan 2013. New Year in far west Fermanagh.

For New Year celebrations, we are in the far west of Fermanagh, in Cashelnadrea. We went for a walk at The Rosheen, a picturesque spot by Lough Melvin, being well insulated against the inclement weather.

Driving round to the far side of Lough Melvin, we stopped to see the view, but Maurice and Janet were nearly blown over by the wind!

On a clear day the Atlantic can be seen in the distance from this viewpoint.

The view is good, looking up the lough, despite the misty weather.

Don't you agree that this is an idyllic setting for a cottage? This is where we are lucky enough to be staying.

We spent three days celebrating the coming of the New Year, being entertained by Maurice and Janet.

A good time was had by all!
Next morning it was off for more walking, and we passed the romantic centre of this area. The Ballroom of Romance at Glenfarne is the place to go, if you are footloose and fancyfree, so we are told. However, we continued on towards the hills!
From Black Lion we headed six miles to the south, and after a half mile track from the car park, there is a new bridge welcoming us to Shannon Pot.
This pool  is the source of the great River Shannon and the water gushes out of the ground here, Apparently when there is more water coming out, a small geyser is created, but today it is just bubbling gently.
The quantity of water from the pool is still quite impressive, creating this stream under the footbridge in a distance of less than twenty yards. The River Shannon  has a long way to go before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean beyond Limerick.
From Shannon Pot we carried on to the Cuilcach Mountains, and Cladagh River Glen, where there is an extremely scenic walk through the woods, alongside the Cladagh River. We saw several trees, which had slipped to lie across the Cladagh River, but it just carries on, as it has for centuries, to flow under or around them.

The Cascades Waterfall is not a place to lose your footing!

In a very old woodland like this one, the dampness of the climate can be seen in the moss covered trees.
Further on, this is the limestone arch after which the Marble Arch caves are named, due to its similarity to marble in appearance.The Cladagh River probably created the arch originally.
Marble Arch Rising is the source of the Cladagh River, where it emerges from the hillside. The northern slopes of the Cuilcach Mountains are the catchment area for three rivers which flow into the Marble Arch cave system. They meander through the underground cave passages for several miles before joining together to emerge as the Cladagh River, here at the chaotic limestone collapse which is known as Marble Arch Rising.
Beyond the Rising we climbed the path, which leads up to the Marble Arch Centre, and the public entrance to the Caves. When open, in the summer months, it is an impressive underground adventure.

On our way back, we passed Lough Macnean. There is just so much stunning scenery in this part of Ireland. We have had a wonderful holiday.