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.

Monday, 24 October 2016

12th - 21st October 2016. Along the Canal du Centre from Ch to Digoin, mooring just before the junction with the Canal de Roanne à Digoin.

We are enjoying being on a canal again, after the river Sâone.

The first section of the canal is very pretty, with vineyards on the hills to our right.

The weather forecast was correct, as we spent a couple of days at Santanay in extremely wet conditions.

On past Montchanin.
Continuing up the last few locks, Shannon and I get off below the lock, so that I can operate the controls, with Andy already being safely tied on to the floating bollard. These locks are extremely rough, with the water coming up from underneath the boat. At times it even shoots up on to the top deck, so it an uncomfortable ride on The Puzzzler!

The picture on the control box adds character to this top lock.

We carried on past the summit level, to moor on the corner above lock 4 Océan. This is a quiet mooring, as there is very little traffic on the road, and there is a pleasant walk round a fishing lake too.

Most dogs curl up forwards!

The autumn colours are improving day by day.

On to Génelard, where we caught up with our touch-up painting for the autumn. The bank was just the right height!

This cutting, above Génelard lock, has long had these words built into its sides, and at last they make sense!
There is a new walkway above the cutting, through the trees, with several wood cabins, with the history of the cutting printed out, answering the questions on the sides of the cutting. “Combien de pierres?” Well, we learn that 190,000 stones were used to pave the banks in order to prevent landslides. This is well worth a visit.
We spent a pleasant evening with Ian and Lara, who are travelling down to the Med. in their yacht, GeeNTee. It was interesting to exchange experiences with them.

On past Parail-le-Monial, where it is unusual to see an empty mooring.

The canal after Parail is lined with plane trees, making good reflections.
At Digoin, we caught up with Christian and Valerie, and had a pleasant afternoon with them on La Béa'bab. We then moved on down the lock, to moor near to the junction with the Canal de Roanne   à Digoin. Nearly home to Roanne for the winter!

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