Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Summer adventures (well float boating, bbq's and climbing of a sort)

Back in sunny July we headed out to the Ardeche to so some hardcore sunbathing and ice cream eating.  The plan was 6 days on the 'desh' and another four in the Alps. 

The Ardeche is a brilliant river for getting your family (non boaters) out in sunny, warm, welcoming environment - as a result it is literally overrun with French and German tourists and hoards of English school kids shipped down the river (in an impressively well managed fashion I add).

We stayed about two kilometres downstream of Point D'Arc, which is the limestone (?) arch on the front of the guidebooks and tourist pictures in a lovely riverside standing camp. 
I was surprised to find a nice little playspot just upstream of the Arc. Which has a decent enough wave (think nomad on a 6ish..)  to have a few hours of sunny fun. The best bit though is the hundred of bods on hired canoes falling out of their boats, getting pinned and generally trashed on the run into this wave.

Anyway - all good things must come to an end and we headed over to Vallouise in the Alps (nr. Briancon) for a few days boating or whatever.  We stayed with Pete and Helen Laundon at their AlpSun apartment. Anyway - once we got there the boating just didn't happen so me and pol organised to do a couple of via ferrata routes:

Basically via ferrata is using fixed metal equipment to climb a route - you use standard climbing gear, save the special Y slings that take the shock load of your fall (no stretcthy rope to swing on in this).  Apparently the first route were established in the Italian Dolomites - as a way of moving troops around. Anyway we did about three routes; a free route near to the apartment and a couple of paid for routes in the Durance Gorge

A good break. One final note though, 30 degrees, four boats and an inflatable roofrack do not mix well....

The rest of the pictures can be viewed here.

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