French Odyssey Part 8 – Rivers & Mud   Leave a comment

Worth more than one visit is the Verdon Gorge. After our first trip, this time out we went to the eastern end, upstream of the main gorge. We went last year and managed to find our own little private spot away from the crowds so we were heading back again.

Not an easy place to get to. There is a long but stunning drive through the Provencale countryside past several small traditional villages, but this time we thought the drive along the gorge’s south rim road, the Corniche Sublime might be quicker. It’s a truly spectacular road with numerous places to stop and gasp at the jaw-dropping defile. However the kids aren’t the get out and stop kind so we had to make do with looking out of the window, me trying not to crash the car into a rock wall or take a very fast one-way trip to the bottom. L decided to help us out by wanting to be sick just at one of the famous look-out points at the Balcons de Mescla where the Artuby river joins the Verdon.

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Samson Couloir from the Balcons de Mescla

Me and D got out to take a look while J attended to the sick and needy. It’s an awesome spot.

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The "Mescla" (confluence of two rivers)

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The "Mescla" (confluence of two rivers)

From here you can see most of the route of the famous Sentier Martel that runs through the narrowest part of the gorge using ladders and tunnels to make its way past the worst bits. It’s well known and popular, apparently over a thousand people a day walk the route in summer. It’s nothing like as hard as people make out and I’d like to take both D and L along it as they would enjoy the more exciting bits.

After L felt better we went on to our little river spot at the Clue de Carejuan, set up camp under some shady trees and after a refreshing dip in the cold water had our picnic lunch.

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Our own private Verdon

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Shady trees

Me and D then went on an Indiana Jones style adventure up the river, finding fast flowing bits to float down, rocks to jump off and boulders to scramble over.

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Off to find the treasure and rescue the damsel

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Watch out for crocodiles

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Keep paddling

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Hang on

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Watch out for the poison darts

It’s amazing how easy it is to find some peace and quiet considering how busy the main part of the gorge is. We didn’t see anyone on our trip upstream or back at the picnic spot

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"The rapids of doom"

Jane and L came to meet us and have a swim and snorkel.

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I said there were monsters

L then passed the rest of the afternoon playing in the oozey, smelly mud on the river-bank.

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Yuck!

Me and D played in the natural jacuzzis in the fast flowing water and more knee-bashing floats down the rapids.

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Happy times

A day of more simple pleasures and another day spent in the company of the stunning River Verdon and it’s gorge

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