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.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

8th - 9th June. Graignamanagh on The River Barrow, Inistioge and Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum.

We were lucky to find a mooring in Graigue, as Dave was moving off upstream with his narrowboat. The Puzzler is in the centre of this view, and we are actually moored in Tinnahinch, being on the other side of the Barrow to Graigue. We are opposite the Regatta and Rowing Club, where good weather has brought out many swimmers too.

Looking upstream from Graigue Bridge it is a lovely peaceful river scene.

This is the other side of the River Barrow, also looking back upstream, with the Rowing Club at the far end of the houses and boats.

Duiske Abbey overlooks the River Barrow, just before the bridge.

This is always the classic picture of boats moored below the bridge here.
On our way back from a walk late on Friday evening, we found a boat sitting on the weir, just opposite these boats at this end of these moorings. On returning from the water point by the bridge, the lady skipper had somehow lost her steering long enough to drift onto the weir! We went to find a rope which would be long enough to help her but, meanwhile, a man had waded out to the boat to push it off the weir. This worked until she used some power, and went straight back onto the weir again, but further upstream this time. After several tries, she eventually came free, and backed up to her mooring. No-one was hurt thankfully. Health and Safety might suggest filling up with water in daylight hours! It was good craic though as we went aboard for a drink and got back to The Puzzler at 1am.
We have been very lucky to be lent a car by Declan and Mary this week. Many thanks to them for this. We drove to Inistioge, which is on the River Nore. This river joins the River Barrow below St Mullins, and it is possible to do this tidal stretch, grounding your boat at Inistioge between tides. We will probably not be tempted however!

On the hillside above Inistioge are Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum. This is a lovely place to spend an afternoon. The house is in ruins but the gardens have been restored to their former beauty. This fallen Monkey puzzle tree has been cut into sections and left as a point of interest.

Monkey puzzle trees of this size are about 120 years old.

However there are little trees for little dogs too!

 The walled garden is just beyond these formal hedges in the Flower Garden Terrace.There are so many different parts to these gardens.

What a contrast between the yew walk and the Noble Fir Avenue!

The Noble Fir Avenue was planted in 1878, and most of the trees have survived since then. Any which had died, due to a blocked drain making it too damp for them, have been replaced since restoration of the gardens began in 1999.

On leaving Woodstock the hillside rolls back down to Inistioge, beside the River Nore.

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