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.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

1st - 4th July. On up the River Barrow to Athy.

The hanging baskets on the town bridge at Leighlinbridge are impressive.
There were two hire boats full of Sea Scouts here last night at Leighlinbridge. We do not know when they eventually went to bed as our stamina is less than theirs! Flying Hawk came in this morning, and is the first boat we have seen which is also travelling upstream on The Barrow, like The Puzzler.
This grassy mooring above Milford is one we have passed before, but it has been worth the wait to moor here! It is a lovely place.

There is now very little water in the weir at Milford, but that does not make it any the less attractive.
A lot of dredging is going on above Clogrennan Lock. We grounded here on our way downstream a month ago and happened to mention this at the time to a lockkeeper. Apparently our words did some good! Be careful though, as it is only dredged as far as the digger can reach. If you go too far from the towpath, then there is still a ledge on which to ground your boat! Don't ask how we know this!

Having come through Carlow lock, we sail safely across the top of Carlow weir, to reach the bridge.
Once through the navigation arch of Carlow Bridge, we can look back across to the very far arch. This is the one we came through on our adventures up the river when it was in flood last year.

This egret followed us for a while. They are usually rather nervous, but we came quite close to him.
The mooring at Ardreigh comes soon after the lock, with room for many boats. It is only about a mile out of Athy, so we walked to the bridge at this end of town. Shannon likes to slide down the bank, and then swim in the river, whenever she can. On this occasion she returned fast out of the water, ready to run in silly circles on the towpath. However, as she reached us, a large alsatian arrived too, barking, from the other direction. Shannon has never turned round so fast to go back into the river! Fortunately the alsatian was firmly on a lead.
We went past the lock at Athy to go up to the town mooring, which is beyond the next bridge upstream. This is a handy mooring for shopping in the town, and can just be seen through this bridge arch, beyond Athy Castle.

We are sorry to be going up Athy lock, and leaving the River Barrow. We have had a great month down here, with such friendly people all the way down the river.

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