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.

Monday, 6 July 2015

23rd June - 2nd July 2015. On the Champagne Burgundy Canal from Chamouilley and Joinville to Langres.

John and Brigitte joined us at Chamouilley, which was a charming village.

There is a new mooring here, with no charge, so long as you do not want water or electricity!

Andy and John cycled back along the towpath the next evening, moving the car to Joinville, ready for a train at the end of the week.

The town of Joinville lies below the ruined site of the old Chateau. which was a medieval stronghold, belonging to the House of Guise.

The Chateau de Grand Jardin, in Joinville, was originally called the lower castle, and was a summer retreat built between 1533 and 1546 by Claude de Lorraine, Duke of Guise. Mary, Queen of Scots belonged to the House of Guise, and lived here for a time. Most of the garden is very formal, with each section having a different design. Sally and Brigitte liked the box plants, of which there are 120 different varieties here.

The next part of the canal after leaving Joinville, was extremely weedy. A central section had been cut away, to allow for passage of boats.

We have enjoyed finding country moorings and this one even had a private swimming pool for Shannon! We were jealous of this, as the weather is now extremely hot.

Le Pont Canal de Mussey was one of several aqueducts taking the canal over the river Marne, which is following this valley with us.

Continuing on, it is good to have shade from the trees by the canal. I have to water the flowers twice a day in this hot weather.
Several villages in this area have a communal lavoir, which is a building with clean running water, for the villagers to do their laundry. This one was built in Vouécourt in 1862.

Here Andy and Brigitte are sailing on to the lock at Vouécourt.

This lock is particularly deep, at 3.9 metres, so it would have been difficult to put our front rope on to a bollard from the boat.

The canal continues to be lined with trees, and is lovely.
We stopped for lunch at Riaucourt, and stayed until the next day, at the mooring beside an old dovecote. We ate our meals at the picnic tables provided in the building here, which was really cool.

At Condes there is a short two-way tunnel. Most tunnels are one way with traffic lights. We then sailed on to Chaumont, but decided that it was just too hot to climb up the hill to see the town. The next section of locks are manually operated, so our first lockkeeper accompanied us to Foulain. This brings back pleasant memories of the canals in Ireland.

On to Langres, where we relaxed in the shade near to the canal. The temperature reached 100 degrees today, which is just too hot for comfort. John and Andy went later to retrieve the car from Joinville.

Next morning John and Brigitte set off on their long journey back to England.

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