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, 2017 and 2018, returning to Roanne each winter.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Dec 2015 - early Jan 2016. Festive celebrations in the Port de Roanne.

It really does not seem like winter at all here as the weather is consistently dry and warm. Walking continues to be good around Roanne. We start along by the River Loire, then have a choice of several routes back to the port. The Loire can be seen in the distance to Andy's right.

Shannon had a wonderful time at Christmas opening her presents. This one contained a soft duck which was already a favourite toy, rewrapped for the occasion!
We were lucky enough to be invited to Christmas dinner on the barge Rook, with 17 people present altogether. From the left we have Mick, Trevor and Vicky, Sally and Foster, Ghislaine and Jean-Charles, Altz, Andy and Sally, Mary and Brian, and Graham.

At the other end of the table, again from the left, are Jill, Altz(again), Graham(again), mine hosts Pete and Jan, Frank and Mick(again). It was a great occasion.
Everyone shared in the preparation of food on their own boats, before coming to Rook for the meal. Mary carries in the Christmas puddings, which did burn merrily for a short while.

Pete saw some French people outside, who were watching our celebrations, so they too were invited in for a glass of wine, and a good time was had by all!

After the meal it was time to relax. More dogs arrived, and we ended up with 7 of them on Rook too.
Shannon, on Sally, and Escot, on Ghislaine, are now the best of friends, although Shannon thought she would chase Escot when they first met! Jean-Charles and Ghislaine are French friends of Pete, who live near to the port.
By Sunday we had recovered from Christmas, and took the bikes to explore further along the River Loire. Leaving the bikes, we walked on to reach the old quarry, which is very peaceful and a lovely place to walk.

Sunset over the port of Roanne. This is the view from The Puzzler – aren't we lucky!

For New Year's Eve, we were all invited to the barge Highlander by Roger and Mary, who had been away for Christmas.

Here is the rest of the gang!
The two Marys are getting quite merry with the oysters! We all had a taste, but some people enjoyed them more than others did. Neither Andy or I were too keen on them, the oysters that is!

By New Year's Day it was all too much for Andy and Shannon!

Frederick, who lives next door to us on his cruiser, Willusty, is one of Shannon's best friends.


  1. Well well what a surprise.. Two of my bloggers on my blog page in France in the same place! Looks like you had a really great time in the port over Christmas

  2. We are glad that you are keeping up with us!