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, 18 June 2015

8th - 12th June. From the River Meuse, past the town of Charleville- Mezieres, on to the Canal des Ardennes.

This viewpoint overlooks Joigny sur Meuse, with The Puzzler moored on the left side. We followed a 15km marked walk up from Joigny to this view, then on through the forest, returning to the river Meuse at the next lock. We must be getting fitter!

Moving on to Charleville- Mezieres, we found a picturesque town square there, in this large town.

On leaving the town, the countryside opens out more, and there are so many hay bales in the fields.

We have left the Meuse now, to join the Canal Des Ardennes. The canal locks are much smaller than the river locks were.

The canal des Ardennes is much more like an English canal, and we are in the middle of a heatwave. We are even sailing with the brolly up at the front.
Having spent the night at le Chesne, we spent Saturday first going down a flight of 26 locks. On leaving each lock we can see the next one ahead of us, all ready for The Puzzler.

Once in the lock, a tug on the upright blue pole will shut the gates and activate the lock. The whole flight only took four and a half hours.
Having handed our remote control box back to the lockkeeper at lock 26, there are two more locks before Arrigny. These locks are now activated by twisting the coloured pole, which hangs in midstream.
Arrigny is a delightful mooring, sheltered by the trees. Shannon, our shih-Tzu, has turned over a new leaf today, and comes EVERY time that she is called, instead of playing "Come and catch me!"

Dom de Charlemagne church, also on a signpost as Church of Notre Dame, is a Gothic church which was built in the 15th Century in Arrigny.

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