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, 29 May 2017

22nd - 25th May On down the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne through both newly mechanised locks and manually operated locks. We share moorings with an ocean going yacht, a lizard and two snakes.

There is a new lift bridge at Jorquenau.

It has no counterweight, just these pistons to raise and lower it.

Moving on, the mechanised locks too continue further than we were expecting, as four more no longer need an éclusier to operate them. Our telecommand is working well.

After Rolamport, we are sharing with Piki Mongué as our lady lockkeeper helps us through. We got to know her quite well, as she was with us for two days.
At Foulain there are only two jetties, so yacht Freedom Found came alongside The Puzzler. They are on their way back from the Mediterranean, having visited Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Previously they crossed the Atlantic too, but we won't hold that against them!

We walked from Foulain to find Chateau de Moinon, which is now the base for an outdoor centre, with gîtes in the old barn.

This lake is part of the centre, and we found a lovely forest walk which went right round the lake.

From Foulain we shared locks with Freedom Found as far as Chaumont the next day. Shannon was concerned that we could both fit in!

However, it was too hot at Chaumont so we decided not to stay there, and carried on later, sailing through this wooded stretch to Riaucourt.

The jetty here has been newly concreted, in front of the dovecote and old stable. We ignored the red and white stripey tape, having checked that the concrete was hard enough for us to use!

There is plenty of wildlife here, with firstly this lizard climbing up the steps.
Next to arrive were two grass snakes, which played on the concrete before disappearing below the far end of it. A local man assured us that they were harmless grass snakes, though this is much the smaller of the two! The other one was at least 4 feet long.

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