CSCC Reports 2005: France 27 April to 3 May 2005

Carole and Richard had very kindly opened up their palatial house in Gattières again so the group who travelled were Malcolm and Marcia, Bridget, Hilary, Peter and of course Richard. We managed to get three kayaks and a bike on the Easyjet flight from Gatwick to Nice with no extra charges (although their policy has now changed so we won’t be so lucky next time). Kayaks fit on luggage trolleys and the trolleys at Gatwick are excellent as they travel sideways OK. We had tried but failed to get a hire car with roofrack so the club came to our aid and bought a ‘Handirack’ inflatable roof rack. It proved very useful and the sidebars on our hired estate car meant we could tie the boats to them rather than pass the straps through the inside of the car.

04-27-14-43-RS-IMGP0220 04-27-14-57-HPL-IMGP0293 04-27-17-21-HPL-IMGP0298 04-27-17-24-HPL-IMGP0300

The weather was sunny and hot so we spent the first day walking in the Esteron valley, we took the opportunity to scout some access and egress points but there wasn ’t enough water in the river to make it paddleable.

04-28-11-22-HPL-IMGP0309 04-28-11-24-RS-IMGP0230 04-28-11-36-MS-P4280012 04-28-12-52-RS-IMGP0233
04-28-12-55-RS-IMGP0235 04-28-13-10-HPL-IMGP0314 04-28-13-12-MS-P4280021 04-28-13-13-HPL-IMGP0315
04-28-13-14-CM-P1010007 04-28-13-33-RS-IMGP0239 04-28-14-09-HPL-IMGP0318 04-28-14-34-RS-IMGP0243
04-28-15-00-CM-P1010023 04-28-17-12-HPL-IMGP0322 04-28-18-25-MS-P4280036 04-28-19-34-MS-P4280038

On Friday 29th Richard, Carole, Peter and Hilary headed of to paddle the Var from Entrevaux to Touet sur Var, a section of about 20km. Meanwhile Malcolm and Marcia hit the tourist trail in Entrevaux and Bridget went cycling along the Corniche from Gattières. The Var was an exciting continuous conveyor belt of Grade 2/3. Those new to alpine paddling couldn’t get over the speed of the water and the distance was covered in less time that expected. The beautiful scenery made it a fantastic trip and the close presence of the N202 was not noticed.

04-29-07-58-RS-IMGP0248 04-29-10-22-MS-P4290039 04-29-11-10-RS-IMGP0249 04-29-11-21-HPL-IMGP0327
04-29-11-27-HPL-IMGP0328 04-29-11-34-MS-P4290045 04-29-11-48-HPL-IMGP0333 04-29-12-57-MS-P4290061
04-29-13-01-RS-IMGP0257 04-29-13-40-HPL-IMGP0343 04-29-14-10-RS-IMGP0266 04-29-14-15-CM-P1010039
04-29-14-49-RS-IMGP0268 04-29-15-44-MS-P4290071 04-29-15-45-MS-P4290072 04-29-15-46-CM-P1010042

Saturday - Fresh from the exciting paddle the day before Carole, Richard, Hilary and Peter decided to go for the main event, The Daluis Gorge. At continuous Grade 3 it was a step up from the day before. Carole opted to do the shuttle meaning we could manage with one car. This left Bridget, Marcia and Malcolm free to go off and explore in the hire car (in Italy!). The Gorge with its 300 m red sandstone walls did not disappoint, the rapids were continuous and the tight corners kept the heart pumping as we travelled deeper and deeper. Carole took photos from the bridge above, which I gather is used for bungee jumping.

It was certainly one of our most memorable trips ever and the claim for it being the best Grade 3 trip in Europe is well deserved. We had many photo stops before meeting up with Carole at the bridge just above Daluis. At this point Richard took over the role of Shuttle bunny and Carole joined Peter and Hilary on the next 10km of Grade 3- conveyor belt. We saw a few other river users at this point – a raft and some smaller inflatable crafts. Richard was having difficulty keeping up with us as we shot down the next 10k in record time, Carole having decided not to worry about breakouts.

In the evening Ian and Diane, on honeymoon, came round for their dinner. It was great to see them.

04-30-04-18-MS-P4300077 04-30-05-06-MS-P4300079 04-30-09-44-MS-P4300083 04-30-10-54-CM-P1010047
04-30-11-17-RS-IMGP0276 04-30-11-20-HPL-IMGP0353 04-30-11-23-RS-IMGP0278 04-30-11-25-HPL-IMGP0354
04-30-11-30-CM-P1010063 04-30-11-34-CM-P1010071 04-30-11-35-HPL-IMGP0357 04-30-11-40-HPL-IMGP0362
04-30-11-49-RS-IMGP0291 04-30-11-51-HPL-IMGP0366 04-30-11-54-RS-IMGP0295 04-30-11-56-RS-IMGP0298
04-30-11-58-HPL-IMGP0373 04-30-12-12-HPL-IMGP0379 04-30-12-13-RS-IMGP0302 04-30-12-13-RS-IMGP0303
04-30-12-14-RS-IMGP0306 04-30-12-18-HPL-IMGP0380 04-30-12-25-HPL-IMGP0383 04-30-12-28-HPL-IMGP0386
04-30-12-30-HPL-IMGP0387 04-30-12-50-HPL-IMGP0392 04-30-13-32-RS-IMGP0312 04-30-13-33-RS-IMGP0313
04-30-13-33-RS-IMGP0315 04-30-13-34-RS-IMGP0317 04-30-13-46-RS-IMGP0324 04-30-13-46-RS-IMGP0327
04-30-13-47-RS-IMGP0330 04-30-13-49-RS-IMGP0331 04-30-13-59-HPL-IMGP0394 04-30-14-08-RS-IMGP0338
04-30-14-18-HPL-IMGP0395 04-30-14-32-RS-IMGP0346 04-30-14-40-RS-IMGP0349 04-30-19-15-MS-P4300127

Sunday – more fabulous walking, this time to the Sommet de Viérou above Coursegoules.

05-01-12-28-MS-P5010131 05-01-12-37-MS-P5010133 05-01-12-52-HPL-IMGP0411 05-01-13-01-MS-P5010144
05-01-13-06-MS-P5010145 05-01-13-16-HPL-IMGP0417 05-01-13-51-MS-P5010149 05-01-14-04-HPL-IMGP0418
05-01-14-18-HPL-IMGP0420 05-01-14-18-RS-IMGP0359 05-01-14-34-HPL-IMGP0421 05-01-14-59-HPL-IMGP0425
05-01-15-05-MS-P5010163 05-01-15-19-MS-P5010165 05-01-15-33-HPL-IMGP0427 05-01-15-45-MS-P5010169

Monday – sea paddling today, starting at Théoule-sur-Mer (west of Cannes) and then along the coast to the beach at Point d’Aiguille. We took it in turns to explore the scenic coast further west. Bridget and Malcolm had the opportunity to paddle today which they enjoyed.

Tuesday – weather not so good today, did some touristy things in Vence and Tourrettes-sur-Loup. Travelled home via Gatwick, had fun getting the kayaks on the luggage rack in the shuttle bus to the long stay car park.

05-02-10-23-MS-P5020179 05-02-10-25-MS-P5020180 05-02-10-29-MS-P5020184 05-02-10-43-RS-IMGP0362
05-02-10-45-RS-IMGP0363 05-02-10-48-RS-IMGP0369 05-02-10-56-RS-IMGP0371 05-02-11-20-MS-P5020188
05-02-11-42-RS-IMGP0374 05-02-11-45-HPL-IMGP0429 05-02-12-26-HPL-IMGP0433 05-02-13-15-HPL-IMGP0439
05-02-13-24-HPL-IMGP0443 05-02-14-15-HPL-IMGP0446 05-02-14-23-HPL-IMGP0448 05-02-15-16-MS-P5020196

All images © CSCC Richard Szczepanski / Carole Moss / Peter and Hilary Lawrence / Malcolm and Marcia Sorrell