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, 6 May 2015

1st - 4th May. From the Oude Rijn, down the Dubbele Wericke waterway to join the Hollandse Ijssel canal. Across the tidal river Lek, on the Merwede canal

We are now on the Oude Rijn, Not all of the thatched houses here in Holland are old, and it is always interesting to see new shapes!
The Dubbele Wericke is a little used waterway, due to its low bridges. We had to wait here with the bridge keeper for half an hour for this train to come, so that this bridge could be lifted for us. We wouldn't want to be any closer!
When we reached the Hekendorp Sluis, and found the lockkeeper, we thought that all was well. However, the lock gates would not open, so the lady in charge made a phone call, followed the instructions, and nothing happened. Her husband arrived too, and much humming and hawing went on! Several calls later an expert came along, and eventually the gates yielded to his superior power! We lowered the flag and chimney to creep under the bridge into the lock.

From Hekendorp we went down the Hollandse Ijssel to cross the tidal River Lek near Nieuwegein. Going down into the river, we were tied to a barge in the lock. He was travelling backwards down the lock, so sent us out first. These cruisers were determined to get to the lock on the south side of The Lek before us!
Once inside the lock, we could not really see why they had hurried, as there was certainly room for all of us. It is well named as Grote Sluis, being 120 metres long and 12 metres wide.
Our book of reference told us that there was a free town mooring, just to the south of the sluis, but it is now quite expensive, so we found a grassy bank, amid the flowers, along the Merwede canal.

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