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, 2017 and 2018, returning to Roanne each winter.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

21st - 26th August. On the Rhône to Rhine canal, then on to Saint-Jean-de Losne on the river Saône, then the Canal du Centre from Chalon-sur-Saône to Saint-Leger-sur Dheune.

Continuing along the Rhône to Rhine Canal, we reached the final three locks, which drop us back down into the river Saône.
We soon arrived at Saint-Jean-de-Losne, where a family from King's Lynn moored outside us. We visited Blanquart's Chandlery, to discover that the Canal de Bourgogne was closed last week, until November. We had been going to go that way so it is a change of plan! It is lucky that the Canal du Centre is still open.

This pretty evening light over the Saône was followed by a superb firework display. Shannon hated it! Life can be tough at times!
Moving on down the river, we pulled in at Gergy. It makes a change to be on such wide water again. We have pushed on through some very wet weather to get here, covering 42.5 kilometres today.

At Chalon-sur-Saône it is a right turn off the river, where we rise up on to the Canal du Centre, through this ten metre lock. It is numbered Mediterrenée 35.

The bottom gate closes in two sections behind us, as it is such a deep lock.

The calm waters of the Canal du Centre lie ahead of The Puzzler.

This is the best lock garden which we have seen, with so many different flowers.

Passing a wood yard, it was interesting to see the tree trunks being sprayed to keep them wet, while they are seasoning.

Our first rainbow for ages.

In the centre of Chagney, this metal cockerel rules the roost. The cockerel is the national symbol of France.

We have been seeing vineyards all along the hillsides, but here they are very close to the canal.

It was nice to meet our Swiss friends again, as they return along the Canal du Centre.

Walking through Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune, the trees are starting to show their autumn colours.
From Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune there are five very deep locks. There are floating bollards for the ropes, which does help. All the locks up from the Saône are numbered from Mediterranée 35 to 1.
The boat must be tied securely, as the side ground paddles are quite fierce. In one lock this incoming water reached the top deck of The Puzzler, to soak our canal guide book.

It was a relief to reach the calm waters of the summit pound. This canal has been so much better than we were expecting. Our next locks will start at Océan 1.

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