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.
Thursday, 30 April 2015
23rd - 30th April 2015. Through Mijdrecht, past Zomerlust to an island mooring on the Nieuwekoopse Plassen, then on to the Oude Rijn.
However, just round the corner, the canal opens out and the newer part of town can be seen.
After joining the Kromme Midrecht waterway, we stopped again at Zomerlust, where this fine Friesian horse went past.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Our day in Amsterdam began with a visit to the Rijksmuseum, which is huge.
Photography was allowed, so here is The Nightwatch by Rembrandt.
I liked The Threatened Swan by Jan Asselyn (1650) The black dog is getting closer!
This is Landscape with Waterfall by Van Ruisdael, also from the mid17th century
Another famous picture we saw was The Milkmaid by Vermeer.
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
11th - 18th April 2015. Debbie joins us at the Bergen Bos. We move south in Holland to Zaanse Schans, Aalsmeer, Keukenhof and Avifauna.
Debbie joined us by bus at our mooring near the Bergen Bos, and we hired her a smart bike for an expedition through the wooded dunes.
With Debbie at the helm, Shannon took over the map-reading.
At Zaanse Schans, we moored in among these windmills. There is only room for one boat here. so we were lucky to find it free.
We looked round De Zoeker windmill, which is still used to crush peanuts to make oil.
An early start to get to Aalsmeer Flower auction soon after 7am. We came here on 19th May last year.
On to one of our favourite moorings on an island on the Kager Plassen lake, and an impressive sunset.
On Thursday we went on to visit Keukenhof, where Van Gogh was created out of hyacinths.
The bulb fields behind Keukenhof were the best ones we have seen this year. The tulips seem to be later than last year.
Dogs are allowed at Keukenhof, but not in the pavilions, such as the orchid display area. No-one official noticed Shannon, hiding in the rucksack!
Tulips come with all sorts of frilly petals.
Hyacinths and daffodils created lovely displays.
Most of the tulips in the outside beds are the smaller varieties this year.
The narcissi and tulips go well together.
It felt strange to have a lori sitting on my head!
Debbie's lori was really greedy, not letting any others share.
Andy's lori thought his ear tasted good!
The free flying eagle was quite a contrast to the smaller birds.
The orange egret lookalikes flew in for the finale, while a crested crane joined in too.
Monday, 20 April 2015
1st - 10th April 2015. Our last few days in Schagen. Our friends join us in a farewell trip from Schagen harbour along the North Holland Canal..
We have enjoyed a final visit to all of our favourite walks around Schagen. Shannon still goes into the water at every opportunity, no matter how cold it is.
The local Texel lambs are growing up.
This windmill, with a thatched cap, is very much traditional for this part of North Holland.
The party continues inside for a splendid meal, which was provided by our guests.
We continued on to the end of Haargervaart, and managed to turn on this narrow canal, near the village of Hargen. The woods can be seen beyond The Puzzler.
There are so many different tracks to choose from in these wooded sand dunes.
The scenery throughout this area is quite different to anywhere else we have seen in Holland.
We cycled to the North Sea at Camperduin, where Shannon tried to bury Andy!
Monday, 13 April 2015
Peeling the tape off makes the recently painted red and green paint look really sharp.
The next job was painting the side decking, with rubberised non-slip paint. This paint includes chopped up rubber tyres!
This beast has done well in the show ring. He certainly looks the part, with a back end like that!
The whole town centre, in front of the church, was taken over by the cattle. It was a very wet morning, hence the coats.
Nearby is the display of vintage tractors.