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.

Monday, 13 May 2013

7th - 9th May. Along the Grand Canal to Hazelhatch.

As the Barrow River is closed at Bagnelstown Lock until the end of May, we have decided to continue along the Grand Canal to Dublin to join The Dublin Rally. The timing is just right for us to join the group at lock 12 on Friday evening for the assisted passage into Ringsend Basin. Having bought our "garden" for this year at the once monthly market in Edenderry, we carried on through lock 20, which must be the slowest lock on this canal. The lockkeeper recommended this charming mooring near Shee Bridge. It is very pleasant but is rather close to the busy road. The towpath here is excellent.
All along this stretch of the canal there is a lot of dredging going on. This is so much easier here than on the English canals, as dredgers can use the towpath for access to the canal, on either side. In most places too, there is room behind the towpath for disposal of the dredged mud.

We can see hills ahead. These are probably the Wicklow mountains.

Meanwhile the skies behind us look threatening. We have been very lucky with the weather on this trip so far, as most torrential showers have arrived while we are moored.

The mooring above lock 15 looks awkward, but is a lovely spot.

Talitha II catches us up again, above lock 15.

Now this is a "bridge hole" with a difference!

It is good to see the horse lines on the bridges, reminding us of times long ago.

Looking back along the canal, there is almost a feel of autumn in the air.

There are a lot of boats moored at Hazelhatch and we managed to find an empty space for The Puzzler, beyond the other boats.Tomorrow we will move down to lock 12, together with any other boats which are going on to the Dublin Rally.

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