These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over eight 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, returning to Roanne for a second winter.
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
Shannon enjoys being a figurehead, on top of the cratch, at the front of The Puzzler.
This rugged open weir is on the approach to Velotte lock. The Puzzler has just entered the lock cut.
Just round the next corner, the citadel of Besançon towers on the cliff ahead of us.
We moored, and then climbed up to the citadel. I should have counted the steps! The Puzzler, far below, is marked by the red arrow.
The citadel has a moat to protect the inner part. There are apes in the moat, so do not go there!
Round the next corner, to our surprise, was the lions enclosure, with a single tiger further on.
Leaving Besançon to follow the meander round the town, the citadel dominates the skyline behind us.
Saturday, 25 July 2015
14th - 21st July 2015. Bastille Day fireworks at Choisey, then back to Dole in hot weather. Rochefort-sur-Nenon.
We managed to find a canalside mooring with some shade. This is quite important when the temperature reaches 36 degrees!
That evening the Rockin' Blues Guitars gave a free concert in the park. We were treated to three hours of 60's, 70's and 80's music, which was excellent.
Leaving Dole, the canal goes through an avenue of very old plane trees.
Shannon is quite happy to swim out to Andy, before returning to the boat, for a safe lift-out!
Climbing to the top of the cliff, it is possible to see how little water there is is the weir, which is opposite to our mooring.
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
The statue of Napoleon stands beside the Notre Dame church in Auxonne.
We loved these wooden stairs in Auxonne. Look closely to see the small cannons beside the gate too.
It is quite nice to be off the River Saône, and on to the narrower canal, where we can moor anywhere, so long as the water by the bank is deep enough. It is Andy's turn to try and tune the satellite dish for the last day of Wimbledon. Djokavic beat Federer, in case you did not see this.
The Collegiate church of Notre Dame can be seen in the town of Dole, behind the town moorings. Every town has its church, and each one is so different.
Looking up this steep street in the evening light shows the church tower to its best advantage.
There were a few early fireworks and Shannon was not impressed! Once the main display started, she just hid her head and endured it.
The town is full of interesting sloping streets.
This is the triege de la Cordiere, one of several narrow uncovered alleyways to be found in the town.
Friday, 10 July 2015
4th - 10th July 2015. On to the summit level of the canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne, through Balmes Tunnel. On to Blagny-sur-Vingeanne, then the River Saone to Lamarche-sur-Saone.
There are lights throughout the tunnel, with a light every 10 metres, and green lights to confirm we are going the right way! Looking back, the lights are red.
The first flight of eight locks going down, are all over 5metres deep. This is a chain of automatic locks, so the next one is always ready for us.
Shannon loves to run between the locks, and is level with The Puzzler here, on the towpath.
This sunset is over a nearby lake at Villegusein-le-lac. The picture really does not do it justice!
The fields near to the canal are full of sunflowers. They seem to turn to face the sun all day.
This is our first sighting of this breed of large French Poitou donkey. He was not very friendly!
We did a rapid retreat from the bank, going down another lock to escape from the dust. The canal was quite shallow, so it was a bows-in mooring! It was lucky there are so few boats about.
Being by now quite near to Blagny-sur- Vigneanne, we walked on to see the village. This is obviously an extremely smart place to live, with many lovely houses.
We have been on the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne since 22nd of June, when we received this “zapper” so that we could activate the automatic locks ourselves.
This river is very calm today, but is much wider than the canal.
At Lamarche-sur-Saône it was a high wall for mooring, but, with steps by the bow, this is no problem. The satellite dish on the bank is working well, but is now securely tied down!