I promised TJF some proper water based adventures that this area specialises in. We had planned a proper canyoning adventure (all jumps, ropes and abseils) but TJF opted for something a little more sedate. We booked an “Aqua Randonee” trip into the famous Samson Couloir in the Gorges du Verdon.
Firstly you have get dressed for the part. This involves thick heavy wet suits and helmets which are just a trifle uncomfortable when its already 25C. I promised TJF I wouldn’t take any embarrassing photos but…..
To keep things fair, here’s a deeply unflattering selfie of me in my get-up
After a short bus-ride and walk we were at the end of the gorge and ready to start
This is just a wet walk as it were involving lots of floating downstream in fast moving water, with some added jumps and other fun stuff
Here’s the first jump. TJF declined the jumps preferring the swimming option. I took on all the jumps of course!
There are a few sections where you have to walk but that just gives you a chance to appreciate the magnificence of the gorge itself. The trip allows you to see parts of the gorge that you don’t see from the path. The walking route uses tunnels to get through this extremely narrow section with just a couple of viewing windows
The overhang here was amazing and we swam right under it
As we progressed the gorge widened a little enough to let the sun appear. It feels almost cave-like and gloomy in the early part and you forget it’s actually a hot cloudless day in the wider world
I remember this section as a particularly splendid sunny float
Some of the sections were much more “rapid” than others but it was always easy, no objective dangers and just a few dunks to keep you on your toes
There was one section (avoidable) where you had to duck under a rock fully immersed, only a foot or so before you pop out again and great fun. I’ve done this caving before and its a whole lot more scary underground when you can’t see the other side
Another fun section through a mini rock arch. Have to say I’m in my element doing this sort of stuff
As we approached the finish we had the option of varying sizes of jumps or (as below) a slide down a narrow rock channel into a deep pool
Naturally I chose the jump, TJF chose the swim
All too soon it was over and we had the long walk back to the bus. Most of the walk was through the two tunnels (one short, one pretty long), which kept us cool in our wet suits
There were a couple of fine view points in the tunnel so we could look at the route we’d taken from a different perspective. A fantastic and fun outing, highly recommended – if you like this sort of thing