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.


Saturday, 21 October 2017

13th - 19th October 2017. Having loaded our wood on to The Puzzler, we continue along the Canal Latéral à la Loire, and then the Canal de Digoin à Roanne.

At least half of our logs are now covered on the roof of The Puzzler, and Shannon is trying to uncover them again. We had to offset them to the port side, so that she could still walk up and down the boat.

After an extremely misty morning, the sun has suddenly broken through, so I needed the bridge as a sunshade! Some more wood is here in the cratch, while the rest is safely inside the boat. If it were all on the roof, we would be very top-heavy, and rather unsafe!

These trees have suffered from being hosts to the large balls of mistletoe, and are now dying because of this.

On reaching the start of the Digoin to Roanne canal, we feel as though we are nearly home, although we still have over 50 kilometres to go.


Here are some thirsty young charolais cattle.


Shannon and I are walking between the locks at Chambilly. The trees are just starting to turn yellow, as autumn approaches.


On to Artaix, where there are as many camper vans as boats! Shannon loves the leaves.

Our canal travels parallel to the river Loire, and the Loire valley is quite wide here, with small villages along the top of the surrounding hills.

Every time we pass  near to Iguerande, we see this sign directing us to the donkey farm.


It is possible to take one of their donkeys out for a walk, as this family are doing.


Autumn is coming, and the canal above the lock at Briennon is full of leaves!


Our last lock of 2017, as we enter the Port of Roanne. We have been through 672 locks this year and travelled 1756 kilometres (1098 miles).

We have the same place in the port as we had last year, though we must vacate it for the next couple of weeks, while we are away in England. This is the first time that we have seen the fleet of day boats in residence here.

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