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.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

25th - 28th July. On along the Doubs to Novillars, Laissey, Fourbanne and Baume-le-Dames.

Mooring at Novillars, we were treated to the “Dutch light” on the far side of the Doubs river.
Going up the double lock at Deluz, it still seems very strange when even this lock is fully automated. We do have to push the blue pole to continue, but the dark mark on the wall tells us how high we have to rise, before continuing into the next chamber.
Our next stop is at Laissey, where the old part of the village, by the well, is very attractive. In the rest of the village the roads have been dug up, ready for resurfacing. At the cafe several people are having their Sunday lunch, and the epicerie is part of the same building, so we went in, to be told that it was closed. It would be open later on, but as to what time, well, that was answered by a Gallic shrug!

Carrying on upstream, the cliffs are even higher, and it is rather like the river Meuse in the Ardennes.
The village of Fourbanne climbs up the valley side, with individual houses, each with a fantastic view of the hills beyond. We followed some brown signs to Fourbanne Grotte, across a field and into a wood, but did not manage to find a single cave!

There are pastures here, to our right, as the valley opens out, and cows, with cow bells, which sound lovely.

Every so often we pass small villages, nestled below the wooded sides of the Doubs valley.
We stopped briefly at Baume-le-Dames, where the supermarket, for once, is not too far away. As it is a paying mooring though, we move on out into the country.

Above Baume-le-Dames the canal goes through a narrow wooded section.

Rejoining the river Doubs though, it is really wide again. It flows to the left, below the hill ahead.

There are very few moorings generally on this river, so we are on a lock mooring, above La Raie aux Chèvres lock. Literally translated, this is “the stripe on the goats”.

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