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.


Sunday, 13 September 2015

1st - 7th September. A detour to Nevers, then back on the Canal Latéral à la Loire to the aqueduct at Guétin.

Travelling on, we took a detour down the Nevers branch of the canal. Nevers is dominated by the splendid Cathedral Saint-cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte de Nevers. The houses along the river front are very attractive, with some timber framed ones.
This cathedral was accidentally bombed in 1944 by the RAF, but is still being restored to its former glory. Dogs are not allowed, but Shannon is happy to recline in the rucksack.
The Place de la Republic was created in front of the Ducal Palace in 1607, by order of the Duc Charles de Gonzague, for public use. It is a pleasant park, lined with trees.



Side streets in Nevers are lined with cobbles.

We are now returning along the Nevers branch, with two locks to rise us up to the Canal Latéral à la Loire.
Ten kilometres further on we cross le Guétin aqueduct over l'Allier, a tributary of the Loire. This structure has seventeen arches, yet it hardly has a mention in any of our waterway books of France.


There is a double lock, taking us down off the aqueduct. We are just leaving the second chamber, having dropped 9.23 metres in all. The top gates are high up, behind The Puzzler.

The cruiser here (red arrowed) is just entering the first chamber of the double lock, which is actually built as part of the aqueduct. It is a real engineering feat!
On Saturday we found a clear line of sight for the satellite dish. We have watched very little television since the spring for various reasons. The extreme heat during the summer meant that we were under trees, and our dish does not work if we are too far east. We were moored just before Plagny, but were wakened at 6 am by hammering on the bank, near to The Puzzler. Shannon nearly fell over, she was barking so hard! All went quiet until 6.45 am, when they came back to knock on the boat, and ask us to move on please. Their fishing competition was due to start soon, and we were moored right in the middle of it. We got up, and moved!

Having had an early start on Sunday, there was time for a wash day later on. Spreading clothes on the roof is the quickest way to dry them, but perhaps not in this case! Shannon was so comfortable that it seemed mean to move her.

Long sections of the Canal Latéral à la Loire are lined with trees so, as we will have been on this canal for 200 kilometres, we have seen a lot of trees!


It is not all trees though, and this field of ripe sunflowers will soon be harvested for cooking oil.

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