Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I arks youse: Who would ever think that The Ramblers would effect some of their rambling by canoe? Hands up. Who of youse predicted canoeing? No one, except maybe Fran Vaughan, who did the same trip down the Dordogne with Peter (and doubtless Jono) a few years ago.

Well, we did it. Sixteen kms of sheer delight. Two canoes. Four people, drifting down the river, gliding past fields, camping grounds (empty before the arrival of the summer crowds), chateaux, cliffs, under bridges and past other canoes. Hoot, hoot, hoot and HOOT! It was truly spectacular!

We stopped off at a little village that hugs the banks of the Dordogne - Roc de Gagne (I think that's the name) and walked up the tiny backstreets and back down to the main street for a coffee. Wonderful. Then back into the canoes and onward down the river.

I saw an otter-type animal that was sitting on a fallen tree. It slipped into the water before anyone else could verify its sighting, but I truly rooly saw it. We totally failed to see the marble remains of a Roman Road that crossed the river at a shallow piping, nor the extremely well-camouflaged buzzard nests in the trees. However, we did stop at the little beach in the river bed directly opposite our house and took some photos. To a French person, our stay at this tiny beach would have been classed as unusual, since neither Ken nor I attempted to skip stones across the surfac of the water. This appears to be a national pastime for your French chap. Especially if there are girlfriends or small children around to impress.

A bit past our place, and under the last of five bridges saw us pull up on the True Left bank to await the arrival of our Canoeing Organiser, who drove us back upstream to pick up our car. There are quite a few companies that organise this type of service. In summer it would be bedlam on the river with the huge numbers of canoes stacked up on trailers ready to be swung into operation with the onset of summer.

The weather held off for this canoe trip, though there have been times when we have been unable to avoid storms that roll up the valley from time to time. One of the fiecest unleashed its power as we walked into a lovely little restaurant just up the street from our joint. Boy did it pelt down! It followed up with a stunning rainbow as an enchore. What a day!

I'd better get Ramblin'! The train trip will have to wait for another blog ...



1 comment:

  1. Canoeing... what fun!! Especially when you can glide down the river and then be picked up!!
    We're looking forward to all these photos you're no doubt taking.....