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.


Friday, 31 May 2013

28th - 30th May. On to Fisherstown and Athy on the Barrow Line. The River Barrow to Leighlin Bridge.



The reflections are good today. We have been very lucky with the weather during Debbie's visit.


Shannon is learning that bridge holes are useful pickup points, after a morning walk along the towpath from last night's mooring.



Debbie helps Dad at the tiller.

The road lift bridge at Monasterevin is always the place to annoy passsing cars! The aqueduct over the River Barrow immediately after this bridge shows a quiet river below us this year.



We spent a lot of time at Fisherstown last year, waiting for the floods on the River Barrow to abate.


Once again, Tuesday night is music night at the Fisherstown Thatched Inn. With nine musicians there, it was really good.


Apart from Lowtown at the Grand Canal junction, then  Monasterevin, Vicarstown is only the third place to see many moored boats on the Barrow Line.



At Athy, we lock down on to the River Barrow.



Our first night on the river was above Maganey Lock. This was a lovely quiet spot.



Shannon went exploring across the top lock gates on her own.


She spends a lot of time reclining on the roof of The Puzzler, enjoying the scenery along the river.
When approaching Carlow, some moorings can be seen to the right of this island. However, do take care here. The navigation channel runs to the left of the island. There is a long sandbank which lies upstream of the island, running out in front of it, where we went too close and ran aground last year!

After passing to the left of the island, and going through the left arch of Carlow Bridge, it is then a sharp right across the top of the weir to reach Carlow lock safely. Visitors may find this a little scary!


However the water is gentle enough today for the heron to stand on the weir for a spot of fishing.

It is an attractive view, looking across the river to the Mill at Milford. Carlow was the first town to have electricity in Ireland, which was generated here, and Milford Mill is still in use, generating electricity.




The first cygnets of the year are now hatching. We saw this family soon after Milford Lock.


Shannon loves sitting on Debbie's knee.
The bridge at Leighlin Bridge is the oldest on the river, being built in 1320 by Maurice Jakis, a canon of Kildare Cathedral, to facilitate movement within his diocese. It is a very pleasant mooring. We are able to moor on this bank as The Puzzler does not draw too much water.

Shannon was not allowed to chew Toad when he was visiting, much to her disgust. She did not realise that this is the famous Toad Rawnsley, who cycled to South Africa and also has his own page on Facebook!

1 comment:

  1. Two lovely accounts of a really enjoyable visit and great photos too. Thank you so much for having me to stay. Hoepfully I can visit again soon. Lots of love Debbie xxx

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