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.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

9th - 13th August. Heritage Boat Rally at Athlone 2013. Day trip to Galway.

We moved on up to Athlone on Friday, and tied up outside 68M, below the town bridge. Sonas came in outside us, with a cruiser outside him. On Saturday we went out for an Indian meal with friends, and returned to find The Puzzler, plus those outside us, had moved in front of 68M, on to the wall! (I should say that we had been warned of the impending move before it happened) That night we were wakened at 1am by a young couple climbing over the roof of our boat. They were extremely embarrassed to be found out, as they had thought no-one was on board! We would like to recommend, based near to the bridge in Athlone, for any work on computers. He retrieved data from our crashed computer in very little time, and the cost was extremely reasonable.

On Sunday we cruised up beyond the motorway bridge to join the procession of Heritage boats down into Athlone.

The boats all moored below the town bridge on the wall, with the barges on the inside. The boats were all tied together to make a solid raft.

We were in the fourth line, and were the fourth boat out. It gets you fit, climbing over three boats, every time you want to leave the boat! There was great craic at every opportunity.

The water levels are down at the moment, and it is possible to walk across the weir. Irish boaters will recognise this couple!

Shannon had a day out on 57M, while we took the train to Galway. We passed the Fields of Athenry on the way.
We bought the new computer at Curry's, where the two assistants were full of craic, competing with each other as to who could be the best one. They were both excellent! Andy paused for a rest beside Oscar Wilde and his father.

Sally chose to relax beside the River Corrib.

It is a pleasant harbour in Galway.
On Monday evening we went to the official opening of the Heritage Boat Rally, where the Mayor of Athlone welcomed us all. Later that evening, after an interesting slideshow of photographs of the River Shannon in 1900, followed by music in the Castle car park, we returned to The Puzzler. It was time to switch on the lights on the boats. They made a lovely display. Next it was more craic till all hours!

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