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.
Saturday, 27 August 2016
23rd - 26th August. On to Demange-aux-Eaux, through Mauvages tunnel to Sauvoy, then on via Void to Pagny-sur-Meuse.
Autumn is approaching, as the wheat fields are ploughed.
We pass some lovely country properties.
At Demange-aux-Eaux is another pleasant jetty.
This is the main street of Demange.
This lady is the only person about, making sure that all is perfect in front of her house.
Moving on, the water has never been clearer. There are a lot of small fish to be seen in front of the bows here.
Mauvages tunnel approaches. We will be accompanied by a cyclist through the tunnel to make sure that we are OK.
Thisraight tunnel is nearly 5 kilometres long, and is lit throughout, with parts of it reinforced with metal girders.
There were three VNF men waiting for us at the other end, but they just smiled at us as we emerged.
Sauvoy was another mooring with a handy tree for shade. Well, we are near to the mooring, but the tree looked better than the bollards did!
Moving on to Pagny-sur-Meuse.
Friday, 26 August 2016
The scenery along this part of the canal de la Marne au Rhin is very pleasant.
The current church of Notre-Dame des Vertus in Ligny-des-Barrois dates from 1552, although there has been a church here since the 10th century.
This window was made in 1548. It is interesting how the style of stained glass in churches has changed over the centuries.
This blue one was made much later.
At Givraul we found this small pontoon, in a lovely rural setting.
Half of this house in the village of Givraul has been renovated to a high standard, while the left side is awaiting development.
This painted building was in the middle of some fields. Is it a country cottage?
This is a pretty wooded section of the Canal de la Marne au Rhin (Ouest)
There are a great many locks, but each one is a little different. This approach is more scenic than most.
Monday, 22 August 2016
10th - 17th August 2016. We join the Canal de la Marne au Rhin (Ouest) at Vitry-le-François, and continue to Bac-le-Duc.
This goat was very possessive about his lock, when The Puzzler came too close to him!
The Château of Bar-le-Duc, of 10th Century origin, was rebuilt in the 17th century.
There is a superb view of Bar-le-Duc from the castle walls.
Shannon and I decided to rest in the castle gardens, although we might have seen a no dogs sign, if we had been looking!
This is the biggest plane tree we have ever seen, in front of the Town Hall!
In the Eglise Saint-Antoine were the oldest church pews, in a box style. The altar in this church is made of a solid piece of marble.
In Bar-le-Duc, the river Ormain is very pretty.
Bar-le-Duc Cemetary, which is quite impressive
Friday, 12 August 2016
6th -9th August 2016. From Courcy to Sillery, via Reims, on the Canal de L'Aisne à la Marne. Dwarf beech trees are to be found near the Champagne village of Verzy. On to Condé, then the Canal Latéral à La Marne to Chalons-en-Champagne.
Cycling back was a great deal easier! We moved on through one lock to moor under some trees, and had a visit from Paul, which was a pleasant surprise.
All the shops in Tours were closed for their summer holidays!