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.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

16th - 24th April 2018. From Cercy-la-Tour, we continue along the Canal du Nivernais to Châtillon-en-Bazois, Mont et Marré, then on to L'Etang de Baye on the summit level.

Looking across the canal at Cercy-la-Tour, the statue of Notre Dame du Nivernais (directly above the cruiser), and the church, can be seen on the skyline.

The original statue was made in 1958, but was replaced in 2008 by this splendid stone statue, which was sculpted by Joël Dasvin of Chaulgnes.

From the statue, The Puzzler is a long way down below us on the river Aron, which has joined the canal du Nivernais here in Cercy.

Lovely blossom by the lock.

Continuing on along the canal du Nivernais, the plane trees are just starting to show a shimmer of green.

This part of the canal follows the meanders of the river below us, but this is not obvious until you look at the map!

Did we really change direction so much!!
Shannon likes to lie on the bows of The Puzzler and act as a figurehead! Here we are entering the stop gates of Cœuillon, where the canal joins the river for a short while, before the first lock at Châtillon-en-Bazois.

In Châtillon it is a lovely mooring, just in front of the chateau. We stayed here for a few days, sunbathing on the towpath as the temperature reached 40°.

Our next stop was at Mont et Marré, where this part of the village of Marré is separate from Mont, a smaller hamlet which lies over in the trees on the other side of the canal.

The laverie here has seen better days.
A misty morning, going up first a double, and then this triple lock. We go up, as in Ireland, with all the gates open. As each chamber is full, we move forward and the gates are closed behind us.

It is a good thing that no-one has to climb this risky lock ladder!

Nearly all the trees are green now.

This is the lowest bridge on thie Nivernais canal. If it is too low for your boat, then do not come this way!

On the summit level, we moored beside the Etang de Baye, and walked right round it. It was our longest walk for a long time!

This is from the other end of the lake, with the canal lying over to the left. The Puzzler is moored in a line across from the headland, at the far end of the lake.

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