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.
Tuesday, 29 May 2018
15th - 26th May 2018. A week at Mailly-le-Chåteau, then on to the end of the Vermenton branch of the canal and, later, a visit to the Caves of Bailly Lapierre.
Shannon found new friends nearby.
After a week, we left Mailly-le-Chåteau to continue on, and joined the Vermenton branch, which is quite narrow.
Back on the Nivernais Canal, the valley is quite wide here.
Now this is proper cultivated asparagus!
These caves are full of history, being the source of stone for the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. This was my favourite carving - there are several in the caves
Bailly's have made wine here since 1972 and we bought enough wine to merit a lift back to the mooring!
When we first arrived at the mooring, our deck was level with the stonework.
Sunday, 27 May 2018
6th - 14th May 2018. On to Lucy-sur-Yonne, where we are tempted to stay in France! Next it is a visit to Châtel-Censoir, then on to Les Rochers de Saussois, at Merry-sur-Yonne.
Moving on from Clamecy, the sides of the valley rise to cliffs in places. Andy's beard comes and goes!
We spent several days in Lucy-sur-Yonne, which is a pleasant village. This is the first boat that we have seen for days!
We were tempted by this idyllic canalside property.
Wouldn't The Puzzler look good at the bottom of the garden? However, we decided it was not to be.
The Château de Faulin is in this field near to Lucy, and is an impressive building.
The village of Châtel-Censoir lies right above the canal, and it proved to be a fascinating old village.
The collegiate church of Saint Potentian lies at the top of the hill, and dates from the 9th century.
Inside, the chancel is built over the 9th century crypt, hence the unusual height of the altar here.
Carrying on, the canal is almost like an English canal in character, as it winds along the hillside.
The river Yonne appears beside us at intervals, as we share its valley.
In places the valley opens out, with this being an area of arable crops.
However, soon, we approach the Roches de Saussois, which are spectacular.
This rock is used by people who want to practise their serious rock climbing.
This will be our route up to the top. I am very pleased to be fit enough to climb up, as last time we were here, I had to admire our crew climbing, while I stayed on the boat.
It was rather off putting, to say the least, when this climber decided to do acrobatics on his rope, which was directly above us, as we ascended!
We can see The Puzzler far below us, once we reach the top of the cliffs.
Looking on down the canal, Merry-sur-Yonne can be seen over to the left. There is a good restaurant there, at the campsite, which is not to be missed!
When we were here last, in October 2015, this was the route down from the top for Andy, Debbie and Matt. Happy memories!
This time, however, we found a much safer route down, beyond the highest cliffs. The pine trees lined our descent, and were really pretty, with all the new growth.
Saturday, 5 May 2018
Having been at Villiers-sur-Yonne for five days, and done all the local walks to explore the village, we felt that it was time to move on. We were also running out of food, as there is no shop in Villiers. Shannon is practising her best photographic smile!
So it was on to Clamecy, where once again we were the only boat in the port. It is a luxury to have decent internet, so this is my third post in as many days!
Here the old timbered houses really look old!
The cathedral, St Martin de Clamecy, stands proudly in the centre of town.
There is so much detail around the main door.
Inside, it is an imposing cathedral.
There is such detail in the stained glass windows.
This rose window, half way down the cathedral, was more impressive than the one above the organ at the end.