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, 11 September 2017

3rd - 10th September 2017. On to Meaux, still on the river Marne, and on to Lagny-sur-Marne. In Paris we turned left on to the river Seine, then upstream to join the river Loing at St. Mammes.

When we arrived in Meaux, there were five boats here, including Puddleduck and Oribi, but the others all left us! We hear that the Marne is to close at the end of this week for three weeks, which is a surprise. There is still plenty of time to get to the river Seine though.

From Meaux we were on the Canal de Meaux à Chalifert, which runs alongside the Marne. We managed to pick over 400 walnuts there, mostly from the roof of The Puzzler.
Our next mooring, back on the River Marne, was Lagny-sur-Marne, which was an important centre for the Resistance in northern France during the second World War. The bridges from the quay to the jetty are apparently removed in winter, which is a nuisance for continuous cruisers.

We visited the 13th century abbey of Notre Dame des Argents , which was also visited by Joan of Arc in 1430. It is interesting how the houses here are built directly on to the abbey.

The sun is shining in through all the stained glass windows, and reflecting on to the pillars.

The pictures are painted on to the glass in these older stained glass windows.

We were told that these windows are more recent, with each piece of glass being a different colour.

While on the next canal section, a barge, carrying containers, filled the waterway. Barges do not seem so big out on the main river.

Back on the Marne, we are now in the outskirts of Paris, with trees everywhere, and some very fine houses to be seen.

As we approach the River Seine, this sand barge is a sign of things to come!

The junction of the rivers Marne and Seine is dominated by this enormous Chinese restaurant. We have just come down the Marne, from the left, and are now going up the Seine, to the right of the restaurant.
The Seine is built up for a long way upstream from Paris, but this mooring, just 20 kilometres from the junction, was recommended to us by friends. A mini oasis amid the houses!

Further on, there are many smart houses along the banks.

There are also large communities of residential barges.

When the wind blows, it can be quite bleak out on this river!

I think that Endurance is the largest barge we have seen on the Seine.
However, Exelmans comes a close second. He swung his stern in to the bank behind us, and then quickly off-loaded his car with his own crane, before continuing. He left his wife with the car, throwing the car keys to her, across on the bank. Luckily, he could throw well, and they did not end up in the river!

After we had moored above the lock at Bois-le-Roi, a double barge squeezed in behind us. There was just room for him, or rather, them! They were a pair of barges lashed together, with one pushing the other. The captain craned their car off the barge VG, ready for an evening out.

There was an interesting sunset over the lock that evening.

Next day we completed our journey on the Seine, turning on to the river Loing at St. Mammes, to moor at Moret-sur-Loing. Last June this mooring was under water.

Moret is upstream from the mooring and the town bridge crosses the river Loing here.

Moret was badly flooded last June, as can be seen by the height of the water level, marked by the red arrow, well above Andy's head, by the town bridge.

50 yards upstream of the bridge, to the right of a small island, would not have been the place to stand then!

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