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, 21 September 2015

12th – 15th September. Up to the summit level of the Canal de Briare, then down again at Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses, and on to Dammarie-sur-Loing, and Montbuoy.

We left Briare, where the Carrefour supermarket is just a bike ride from the canal, and continued up to the summit level. The last flight of six locks are a chain of locks so, once we had gone through each one, the next one prepared itself, ready for us, with not a lock keeper in sight! At the summit there are several small lakes, or étangs, with this one right beside the top lock. The structure in front of The Puzzler is where we move the blue pole to activate the lock.

This week has been wetter!
At Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses there are now only six locks, but each one has its own lock house. The original seven were rebuilt as a flight of six, so that boats could pass each other in between the locks.

These were the original seven locks, which were a staircase. They were replaced because they created such a bottleneck on the canal.

Five kilometres further on we visited Dammarie-sur-Loing. The war memorial here is rather different as it features a grenadier, throwing a grenade.

The main street here is obviously expecting some boats to come along, considering the line of mooring bollards!

Shannon found a lavoire to be a good place for a paddle!

It is nice to see the sun shining again in Montbuoy by the attractive 11th century church.
We paused for lunch above lock 13. Barge Sunny arrived just after 1 pm and asked us to help him into the lock. We opened the gates, he went in, and we had just closed the gates, when Madame Éclusier arrived back late from her lunch. No-one is meant to let a boat into a lock, except in the presence of a lockkeeper, so she was quite cross with Sunny's skipper. We did not hear whether or not he told her she should not be late then!

Barge Sunny was a tight fit in the lock. He is on his way to Paris.

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