Cool Clear Water – The Verdouble River   9 comments

After our ramble around the Chateau de Peyrepertuse in the blistering sun we needed to cool off before completing our journey to our villa.

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The upper gorge from the lower pools

A couple of miles down the road my Sunflower walking guide to the area highlighted a pleasant looking spot where the Verdouble river flows down a number of cascades and through a series of marbled rock-pools that looked ideal.

With hindsight we should have spent the whole day there in such high temperatures but then it would have been a shame not to have seen the castle. I had it in my head that the place would be hard to find, with no parking or worse, the water wouldn’t be flowing in the height of summer. I was wrong. The road was well used and signed, there was a huge car-park (with a steep parking charge) and a healthy flow of water. In short a well-known spot

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The lower pools

Added together you can imagine that on a summer Saturday afternoon it was very busy with scores of people, mainly families enjoying the cool water. It’s a stunning spot with the clear turquoise water, the golden rocks and the green of the trees making an idyllic if somewhat brash and noisy setting. It was all good-humoured though with lots of families and kids jumping in the pools and scrambling up the rocks and waterfalls.

We found a shady spot and immediately dived in for a cooling dip – man it felt good after the hot and sultry conditions at the castle. The water flows across the rocks like a water slide so you can just lie back in the water and chill out literally.

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Nature’s water park

We had our lunch on the rocks and while TBF relaxed me and the kids scrambled about in the pools and under the waterfalls.

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Cool clear water

If you read my blog regularly you know how much I enjoy the water and rivers so messing about here I was in my element. The kids had a ball as well with the excitement of the deep water and the rocky surroundings and in particular swimming behind the waterfalls, a novel experience.

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Behind the falls

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“D Jones and the waterfall of fear”

TBF and L spent a happy half an hour swimming in the larger pools at the bottom, sliding and slipping across the rocks between them

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TBF and L enjoy a swim

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L goes solo

There are numerous pools heading up the valley and with a little more time I could have scrambled up and jumped down the falls. I imagine it would be a little less crowded during the week and absolutely perfect out of the high season

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The upper gorge

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The upper gorge

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Looking down the gorge to the lower pools

Unfortunately we still had a couple of hours drive to the villa and we had a major shop to do so we had to pack up and head off.

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The lake at the end of the gorge

There are several of these mountain rivers and gorges in this area so it would be a great place to spend a holiday. I’d certainly love to go back, a true fan of wild swimming.

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9 responses to “Cool Clear Water – The Verdouble River

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  1. Looks like some swimming hole that!

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    • I’m a real wild swimming fan and I love rivers – never happier than scrambling around places like this – a bit crowded for me but stunning nonetheless. Seems a long time ago though

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  2. Looks idyllic…in a crowded sort of a way.

    Plenty of opportunity for wild-swimming around here at present. The field at the back of the house is flooded in one, large, corner. When she came home from school A suggested that she might put on her swimming costume and go out to investigate. TBH demurred, but they went out in wellies instead. S tells me it’s waist deep.

    Great tune (based on a true story, did you know). Can’t help thinking you missed a trick though, I thought from the post title that you would be using ‘Cool Clear Water’ by the Sons of the Pioneers, now that really is a classic.

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    • I don’t have that track, I’ll have to download it now (I have a track by that name by Bonnie Raitt but it was too long but it gave me the name for the post).

      Boy did we get lucky with that stunning day on Saturday, it’s been vile down here ever since, we had a load of floods as well on Monday and lots of field based wild swimming opportunities.

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      • Yes you do.

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        • Except, now that I’ve opened iTunes to listen to it, I find that it’s called ‘Cool Water’. Try ‘Tumblin Tumble Weed’ and ‘Cigareetes, Whusky and Wild, Wild Women’ too. Or the very strange ‘Old Man Atom’. Roy Rogers, cowboy actor and owner of Trigger and Bullet, was one of the singers. Does everybody know about him, or is it just me, cos of my Dad’s obsession with all things Western?

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          • I’ll check for that track again although I only have one album by the Sons of the Pioneers. My dad is also into all things western as well. Only when you grow up with him do you truly appreciate how many Western movies there are – most of them crap 🙂

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  3. Looks like a popular spot.

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