The Crack – The Gorges de la Fou   6 comments

One of the nearby tourist attractions in the Vallespir valley where we stayed are the above mentioned gorges. They claim to be narrowest gorge in Europe (or the world, can’t remember the claim now) and the kids were very keen to see it as was I being the adventuring kind.

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Entrance to the Gorge

It was blisteringly hot in the car park as we paid up the steep admission charge and donned some rather sporty hard hats for the walk. The luxury of finding the air much cooler in the dark recesses of the gorge was soon replaced with a sweaty humidity.

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TBF and L in nifty attire

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D in a more verdant section

Well, I can say it was an impressive place. The whole way is along a metal gangway and several sets of stairs and you travel the best part of 2 km into the heart of this near-subterranean world (and back again).

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The narrows

It is seriously narrow with several places where you can touch both sides at once and several more where it’s more cave than gorge.

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” I walked up a gorge THIS wide”

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Don’t look down..

There was a whole plethora of calcite features, stalagmites and the like and a few chocked boulders jammed in the crack ready to crash on your head at an inopportune moment. There was dripping water everywhere and I had great fun getting the kids wetter than they needed to be

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Calcite features

Needless to say the kids absolutely loved it with a real sense of adventure. Me? I’m much happier making my own way up these gorges armed with ropes and a wetsuit to play in the water (see my posts on caving in Yorkshire and Ghyll Scrambling in the Lakes for more of my off the wall adventures). The crowds were pretty annoying as you’d expect from a tourist attraction but it was one for the kids and as the old saying goes, happy kids equals happy parents.

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Impressive steelwork

Pretty hard to take decent photos of a one metre wide, several hundred metres deep canyon in near darkness. Hopefully you can get the sense of the place from my efforts. Perhaps I could sneak back in after they shut for the night and do the whole thing properly…..

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Posted October 15, 2012 by surfnslide in Family Trips, France, Rousillon

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6 responses to “The Crack – The Gorges de la Fou

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  1. Looks pretty good fun that! Personally I can’t cope with proper caving, but that didn’t really look claustrophobic at all!

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    • There were no real narrow parts and the cave parts were just walks through. BIt too crowded for a wild adventurer like me but the kids loved it. Amazing how they managed to thread such a long walkway along the gorge

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  2. Ah-ha – I already had a sneaky look-see at this video on youtube. I can see how this would be a great adventure for the kids. Loving the music. Liked Gillian Welch too on the last one.

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    beatingthebounds
    • I thank Jools Holland for intorducing me to Pokey Lafarge, a quality couple of albums. Neil introduced me to Gillan Welch. An interesting way to spend a couple of hours but way too crowded for me

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  3. Man, that does look fun. I can see my other half enjoying it too!

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    • Thanks Matt, I love a bit of gorge walking/scrambling (although normally in the water rather than above it!). A spectacular place with some fascinating features and plant life as well

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