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.


Friday, 19 May 2017

6th - 14th May 2017 Games on the boats, then the Marché de Fleurs at Auxonne. Off the River Saône on to the Champagne à Burgundy canal, visiting various small villages on our way.

We brought the flowers into the cratch for three days at Auxonne, while it rained, and rained. Meanwhile we spent the time, either on Lumacona or The Puzzler, both socialising and playing cards and all sorts of other games too, with Caroline and Peter. We were sad to leave them.


The cathedral in Auxonne is having a face-lift, and looks much lighter in colour than it did when we last saw it.
The 8th of May was the Marché de Fleurs. There was a street market, with a great many bedding plants and other flowers for sale. We heard a band, but could not find it anywhere, which was not surprising, as the sound was coming from speakers, spread throughout the centre of Auxonne!      However, there was a parade of soldiers, gendarmes and here we see the pompiers (firemen), who marched better than all of the others.


Moving on up the river, we visited Pontailler-sur-Saône.


The lavoir here is in working order, and Andy can be seen winding the chain, thus lifting the wooden platform which hangs over the river.
Soon after the next lock, it is a sharp left on to the Canal Entre Champagne et Bourgogne. This canal used to be called the Canal de la Marne à la Saône, and still is, by many boaters! We entered the first lock, where we should automatically be given our own telecommand box but, as was the case in July 2015, when we were here last, nothing worked. Eventually Monsieur VNF arrived to help, and gave us our box. An inexperienced German yacht joined us in the lock while we were waiting, so we locked up two locks with them. Their skipper was rather uncomplimentary about our use of one rope with the engine, not realising that our using two ropes with no engine on a 16 ton steel boat, with overlapping boats, would have been bad news for them!


We stopped first in Maxilly village, where a fellow boater kindly gave me a spare marigold plant. Then it was on to Renève, where as usual nothing was open. We liked this house though.


With the flowers now quite happily back on the roof, the Viaduc d'Oisilly can be seen behind us. It is 293 metres long and was built in 1886-7.


Mooring near to Beaumont-sur-Vingeanne, we completed a circular walk through two villages, but the castle is only open to visitors in July and August.


These turrets in the farmhouses are most attractive, and we saw these in both Beaumont and in Dampierre-et Flée.


Our mooring here looked out over open fields. Yes, this is the towpath – most of them are of this quality in this part of France.


Shannon has a new place to travel, on top of the long coiled rope, on the bows of The Puzzler. This rope is used when going up locks.


The donkey on the left is as big as the horses, being a French Poitou donkey.


Some of the lock houses on this canal are uninhabited, so Andy is taking a quick look inside.


Another wild mooring – at least the bows are well in!





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