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, 2017 and 2018, returning to Roanne each winter.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

24th - 25th September. On along the new Veenvaart canal, including the Koning Willem Alexander Kanaal.

We moored in the Hondsrug Geopark on Wednesday. This dates back 135,00 years, but surely these stones were polished more recently!

Not far from the canal was this eerie place, with the remains of trees in the sunken area, which is now filled with water.

Carrying on along the Scholtens canal, which is part of the new Veenvaart waterway, the oak trees, with the smaller silver birch trees behind, look lovely.

Having turned on to the Koning Willem Alexander kanaal through Trambrug, we moored and walked on to see Koppelsluis. This is a staircase lock with two chambers.
Beyond the lock is a marked walk. The first part was alongside this horse gallop, where the sand is a remnant of the last ice age. A glacier came south through this part of The Netherlands 150,000 years ago.

Our return route is through tracks and woods. This has to be one of our best walks since arriving in Holland in April.

Back with The Puzzler, we are now on our way into the bottom lock at  Koppelsluis.

Hold your boat securely as the paddles are raised!

There is a viewing platform on top of the control tower, for a good view of the lock. This lock takes us up to the summit level. We have now come up 15 locks (sluizen) and are 20 metres above sea level.

This giraffe was keeping an eye on things near to Spaarsluis.
Spaarsluis is another new lock, and has two side pounds in operation. These save a lot of water, when the lock is emptied, as half the water goes into these. This can then be used, next time the lock is filled up.
We moored below Oranjesluis, with two other boats. Oranjesluis is operated by remote control, possibly from Spaarsluis. As we approached the lock the lights went red and green, to say " I know you are there". The lock gates then opened for us and we were worked through, but not a person in sight. it is obviously very efficient, but still seems weird!

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