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.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

5th – 15th April 2018. Delays at Decize, then across the river Loire to join the Canal du Nivernais.

We had to wait for nearly a week at Decize, until the Loire was open. Spring is certainly here with the celandines beside the port.

The lock out on to the Loire is strange, with see-through tops to both top and bottom gates.

The sign at the lock makes sure that we know where to go!

On the Loire the flow was much gentler than it had been last week, and we had an easy crossing to St Lèger des Vignes, on the canal du Nivernais.

It is a pleasant town mooring at St Lèger.

Climbing up above the trees behind our mooring gives a clear view across the Loire valley to the old town of Decize.

Three days later we eventually set off along the canal du Nivernais, past these very French plane trees. We are in no hurry as the Nivernais canal is closed, beyond lock 76, until 15th March.

8 kilometres further on, we stopped on a wild mooring, and walked up the hill to visit Verneuil. The view across the valley from The Puzzler is really good.

The church of St Laurent in Verneuil dates from the 12th century.

There were several of these small, wooden carved reliefs inside the church.

They can be seen above the ancient murals, which are painted along the walls.

Two cranes had a nest on a pole, at the far side of the field, and one of them is there now. They tend to lie down, so are difficult to see.

The other one is hunting for frogs, quite near to the boat.

On Sunday we moved on to Cercy-la-Tour, and were the only boat on the jetty, despite there being electric and water too, at last!

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