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.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

14th - 20th August. A visit to the caves of Osselle, then on to Rochefort-sur-Nenon and Dole, for a concert by Orchestre Bavarois.

This mooring beyond Thoraise tunnel is popular. Bluegum joined us there on our second night, and we spent a pleasant evening with Charles and Sally.

La Grotte d'Osselle, (cave of Osselle) is well worth a visit. This was a tourist attraction as long ago as 1504, but it now goes 1300 metres into the ground. The stalagmites have developed in different colours, depending on which rock was dripping above each one.
In places there are few stalactites, as this is where the river ran underground, through this passageway. There were about 30 people in our group, but we passed another, of over 50 people. One group stands well back, to allow the others to pass, on the narrow walkway. We were told not to push them into the stream! As if we would!

Some of the stalagmites are real works of art.

After Ranchot, the canal runs parallel to, but above the River Doubs, between two of the locks.

There are many herons to be seen along this waterway. We have also seen several kingfishers, which are slightly larger than those in England, but are still, usually, just a flash of colour.

Carrying on, we are again approaching Rochefort-sur-Nenon.

Frankie is visiting Shannon, but she is not so sure about him!
We are not allowed to moor along this avenue of ancient plane trees, because of the risk of falling branches. Looking up, there are ropes tied between many of the branches, to prevent this from happening.

On into Dole again. This is our favourite town on the Doubs.
This is the last Thursday concert of the summer, in the park. We arrived nearly an hour before the starting time, and only just managed to find good seats near the top of the tiered seating. There was seating for about 500 people, while the extra 100 had to stand.

The Orchestre Bavarois were performing tonight, and were very good indeed, with a varied selection of rousing Bavarian songs. We did not know all the words, but managed to link arms with our neighbours, and “lean left, lean right, lean forward, lean back, stand up, sit down, lean left, lean right”! Everyone had a good time!

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