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.


Saturday, 8 August 2015

29th July - 3rd August 2015. On the Doubs to Clerval, Isle-sur-le-Doubs, Colombier-Fontaine and Dampierre.

Every evening a train full of new Peugeot cars go down the valley, from the factory in Montbéliard. We counted ten cars per carriage, and there were 24 carriages on the train.

The river Doubs continues to impress us with the scenery, with cliffs amid the forests, which line the banks of the river.
We had thought about mooring in Clerval, but were surprised to see a no mooring sign by the mooring. All became clear later when we walked to the jetty, to find so little water depth there that even a rowing boat would have problems with mooring.

We continued on up Clerval lock, walking back to see this attractive village. There were at least ten large lorries parked along the road, and all the eating places in town were open for business.



The church in Clerval caught the evening sun.


This seems to be a good area for mistletoe, with some trees laden with balls of it.

This parasitic plant actually grows within the bark of the host tree, as can be seen here. I always thought that it was like ivy, just clinging on!
Just before Isle-sur-le-Doubs, the river Doubs leaves us, and we continue on the canal. This may be a high wall to moor to, but on the other side of the road is a large supermarket, and also a garage, both of which are a welcome find. Food and fuel were running low! The canal side villages may be pretty, but they do not have many amenities for the passing boater.
Cruising on, this line of trees along the canal are all walnut trees. They are laden with walnuts, all ready for the autumn. We will look forward to that, as there seem to be a great many walnut trees along all the canals in France.

At Colombier- Fontaine we reached the lift bridge at lunchtime. A train arrived at the adjacent station, so the road barriers came down. However, the train did not move for about twenty minutes, by which time there were some rather impatient car drivers! Once they had all gone, we went through the lift bridge safely.


On to Dampierre, which was very attractive, and looked better than this print shows!
On the next stretch, the canal bank was lined with wild flowers and was really pretty. There are several different yellow flowers, but sadly most of them are foreign to us, so I cannot name them all.
When we reached the point in the canal where it is crossed by the river Doubs, we turned round to retrace our steps. We have come 100 miles/ 160 kilometres up the Rhone to Rhine Canal. We are nearly at the summit but, as it is the mighty river Rhine at the other end of this navigation, we are now returning to the Saône. The Puzzler is not a suitable craft to take on to the Rhine.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Andrew and sally, we are playing bridge in Belfast with your friend Ann cairns fromenniskillen. Nice to read of yourontinued adventures!

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