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, 14 October 2015

1st - 6th October. Debbie and Matt join us at Mailly-la-Ville. On to the cliffs of Roches Saussois, the town of Clamecy, then a flight of 16 locks, followed by three tunnels across the summit level.

Debbie and Matt joined us at Mailly-la-Ville, where the ducks were very enthusiastic about stale brioche!

The next morning we reached Roches Saussois, the tallest cliffs on the Canal du Nivernais.

Debbie, Matt, Andy and Shannon climbed to the top for a fantastic view over to the village of Merry-sur-Yonne, on the other side of the river Yonne.

Even coming down was quite tricky, as it was so steep.

Did we really climb up there?

Yes, we did!

The locks are manual on the Canal du Nivernais, with ├ęclusiers who work them for us. We are allowed to help with the gates though, so Matt is in action here.

Moving on to Clamecy, another town which climbs the hillside beside the river.

The collegiate church of St Martin de Clamecy has wonderful stonework.

Inside it is just as impressive.

Debbie and Andy are in step, as they walk down the steep streets of Clamecy.

Moving on, Debbie is activating the next lift bridge. She must hold the button in all the time, to keep the bridge moving.

We are still tending to moor out in the country. Our ├ęclusier calls this type of mooring “au nature”, which is quite descriptive.
Chitry-les-Mines is named for the silver lodes which used to be worked here in the Renaissance time. Sadly the Chateau has closed for the winter, but we saw the childhood home of Jules Renard, a famous French author, of the late nineteenth/ early twentieth century.

After another double lock at Eugny, there is a kilometre of one way traffic on the canal. It is fairly narrow and we found that, away from the middle, it is quite shallow, but we only touched the bottom once!

Charolais cattle crossing ahead!
On Tuesday morning we went up the last flight of 16 locks, in the rain. We had two lockkeepers who also wanted to get out of the rain so, by using only one gate each time, we completed 16 locks and 4 kilometres in 2 hours and 5 minutes, which has to be a record. As this was our only flight of locks, and our only serious rain of the week, it seemed a shame that they came together!
After lunch the weather cleared and we continued along the summit level. Any boater from England will liken this to the long cutting on the Shroppie, with a similar high bridge.

There are three tunnels next, with this brick lined cutting between the first two, which are 212 and 268 metres long.

The third tunnel is much longer, at 758 metres, but none of these tunnels have lights, as other French tunnels have done.

It is good to see the trees and daylight again at the other end.

We moored near to Bazolles, another attractive village set up on the hillside.

1 comment:

  1. Mailly-la-Ville ducks were the only ones that were enthusiastic about stale brioche!