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, 25 May 2014

22nd - 23rd May.We have a garden! On past Uithoorn to Zomerlust. Down the Grecht, the Oude Rijn, and Dubbele Weiricke to rejoin the River Ijssel, then upstream to Oudewater.

We found a garden centre beside the canal and planted all our pots. We have never had such a good selection of bedding plants to choose from.
At the village of Zomerlust there is a cycle/pedestrian lift bridge crossing the canal. You must press the red button to tell it that you are there, if crossing on foot, otherwise it might open for a boat while you are on the bridge.
When we moved on with The Puzzler, we upset a motorcyclist, as he was caught on the bridge side of the barrier, on the right, as the bridge lifted. We suspect that he was in a hurry, and did not press the red button, hoping to be clear before the barrier came down. At least he was safely over the bridge.

We moved on down the river Grecht and came across this lovely mooring quite early on Thursday, but it was too good to pass by!

Upstream of our mooring was a DIY ferry, so we just had to go across and back!
From the Grecht, we joined the Oude Rijn, then south on Dubbele Wiericke, a smaller waterway. This area seems to be even flatter than the rest of the Netherlands, if that is possible! There are more sheep here, but lamb, as meat, is never seen in the shops, so are they just kept for wool?
At Hekendorp we rejoined the river Ijssel, and carried on to Oudewater, and another pleasant mooring. It does not seem as though this could be the same river, shown again below, which we sailed up, to Gouda, in April.

Oudewater is a town with lots of character. The house on the left here is the Witches Weigh House, where witches were weighed during the 16th and 17th centuries. If they weighed in really light, then they were proved to be witches, as a witch's soul is light, and so they could ride a broomstick. No doubt proven witches met a terrible end!
  The Rope Museum 'de Baanschuur' is also to be found in Oudewater, and it was thanks to the rope industry in the 17th Century that the town became an extremely rich city. The many beautiful gables in the town still show that wealth. This area was very suitable for the growing and production of hemp by the local farmers, although now the raw material is imported from the far east. The great ships of the east India company, the men-of-war of the Admiralty and the fishing boats of the herring-fleet, all went to sea with rope and sails from Oudewater.

We were sorry to be leaving this fascinating town.

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