Staying in Crest, we had, or rather tried for a morning run, but I think our bodies were beat! The run was flat but so were our batteries! Once we made it back we just about made the very busy Crest market before the temperature instantly plummeted around 10’ and we had an evening of storms.
From Crest we headed to Vallon-Pont-d’Arc where we visited 2 years previously but it was manically busy. This time however, though it was only around 2 weeks later in the year, it was much more restrained and one of the campsites was even accepting off-peak ACSI cards – so we opted for a reasonably pleasant campsite with bar & pool directly on the river for not much more than the aire.
Last time we were here we did a 13km kayak, which finished just after Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, but this time as there are less people, we opted for the longest possible kayak trip a 32km jaunt from just before Vallon-Pont-d’Arc to, well, 32km downstream…. Supposed to take 6.5 hours – so at least our legs will rest but no doubt our upper body will suffer instead!
So, at a ridiculous time (7am) we got up slowly and got to the kayak place and on the river by maybe 8:45 – and at that silly time the sun hadn’t warmed the canyon so it was a bit chilly. Not helped by us cocking up the first big rapid which threw us out and trapped Mel under the boat thinking she was going to drown, as I was bashed against the rocks. I made sure Mel was alive and we bounced down river a bit till we could get back in to the boat. I blame a communication failure between the “captain” and rudder control and the engine room! 🙂 So after all our dangerous mountain biking, after a 10 minutes in a fairly easy kayak ride I’ve hurt my leg and sprained my thumb and wrist which is now all swollen. Typical. After a bit more practice though we got back into the swing of it.
The gorges are really very pretty and it was an enjoyable calm ish trip (albeit with a sore wrist with 30km to go…) – but its not as fun as the Asia kayaking – as here you know the boat floats (unlike Laos) – and there are no bars lining the river serving cheap beer and having DIY death slides. Well worth this trip, though the last 3-4km or so were rather hard work as the river wasn’t really flowing and it was paddling all the way (did I say I was still suffering from a swollen wrist?)
We decided we deserved a meal out but town was rather busy and we ended up paying a bit much for a bit naff, but hay ho. The next day though, whilst aching and battered, we went for a walk in the mountains expecting a rather easy trek but somehow the walk was very taxing indeed! Very beautiful views and well worth it, but much more difficult and we did get lost and thought we were never going to get out!
On leaving Vallon pont d’arc we headed to Lac du Salagou where we’ve been before but enjoyed, so headed there again for a couple of nights swimming in the lake, walking and biking. Though our aches are telling us just to head to the beach for a few days! On our second day we did around 50km biking on blue & red runs, mostly they were okay but there were some tough sections on each – not mentioning the 500m climb (without a lift!). We and the bikes survived, but my wrist became a bit more sore, so decided it was definitely time to just hit the beach for 4-5 days and let our bodies recover and not do anything more strenuous than reading! So with that, we headed south to the Med.
Next installment HERE