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Thread: Paddling The Ardeche

  1. #1
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    Default Paddling The Ardeche

    This is a short paddle that can be enjoyable by the whole family - from beginner upwards. It's located on the River Ardeche and one reason why it's so neat is that you can put in, travel for an hour or so, then take the boat and walk back to your car in about 20 minutes.

    The put-in point is at the Cirque Des Gens, and you'll need to drive the main road between Pradons and Ruoms. About half way between these two villages is a Samse building depot, take the turning there, over the bridge and then turn left. Follow this road around and there's a little car park.

    You'll need to portage to the river (about 10-15 minutes) but the result is a small sandy beach with easy entry into the water.

    Once you're in, enjoy! You'll be taken almost immediately through some easy whitewater and then the 90 degree right turn (where many people hit the cliff!). Don't worry though. During the summer months water levels can be very low indeed - certainly low enough to ground the boat on occasion.

    Also be warned that river levels can rise enormously following heavy rain, and around October time can be very dangerous. Check river reports before venturing out during the 'rainy' season.

    Float down until you get to Ruoms (plenty of points to get out here). You will know that you've arrived as you have to dodge the weir, which is easy as they've installed a chute to the right hand side for boaters to go down.

    From Ruoms, walk up into town, out to the main road and head back to Pradons - you'll see the Samse building and know where you are!

    Any questions, PM me.

    Cheers,
    David

  2. #2
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    Default Canoe camping Ardeche

    Hi - wondered if you found anywhere to hire rigid open boat rather than inflatable? All threads seem to indicate that hire companies don't offer any alternatives to inflatable because of damage risk. Also, as we are in planning stage of a June trip, wondered if you can give us any tips?

  3. #3
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    worked in the 'deche' over a number of years. Never seen an inflatable... There are very few hire companies that rent 'trad' open boats; most of the boats are made by 'Dag' and are plastic, usually paddled with a double bladed paddle.

    The section from Pradons is very gentle and not that exciting or scenic; your better off doing the section from Sallavas to Chames - you get to paddle through Pont d'Arc too, the section includes some WW to G2/2+ depending on levels and people. The section from Chames to Sauze or St Martin is the 'classic' section through the Gorge D'Ardeche - can be done in one day, but better to make use of the bivvi sites and do it in two.

    link to outfitters: http://www.ardeche.com/en/canoeing/index.php

  4. #4
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    Default Paddling the Ardeche

    Realised after sending that I meant the "sit-on moulded plastic" canoe rather than inflatable! Really wanting the single- paddle open boat experience so will keep looking - but have noted the routes you suggested. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattT View Post
    worked in the 'deche' over a number of years. Never seen an inflatable... There are very few hire companies that rent 'trad' open boats; most of the boats are made by 'Dag' and are plastic, usually paddled with a double bladed paddle.

    The section from Pradons is very gentle and not that exciting or scenic; your better off doing the section from Sallavas to Chames - you get to paddle through Pont d'Arc too, the section includes some WW to G2/2+ depending on levels and people. The section from Chames to Sauze or St Martin is the 'classic' section through the Gorge D'Ardeche - can be done in one day, but better to make use of the bivvi sites and do it in two.

    link to outfitters: http://www.ardeche.com/en/canoeing/index.php

    I am going down the Ardeche on the 25th, and am staying at the Gournier bivouac - do you know if there are any trees suitable for hammock tents?
    Charlie
    I dont believe in Reincarnation, I didn't believe it when I was an Aardvark, and I dont believe it now!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie KMQ View Post
    I am going down the Ardeche on the 25th, and am staying at the Gournier bivouac - do you know if there are any trees suitable for hammock tents?
    Charlie
    yep, you'll be fine for hammocking, we used to use hammocks all the time at both Gournier and Gaud sites

  7. #7
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    Adding to Matt's comments;

    At Gournier we used to hammock to the right of the hand of the site, there's a clump of trees with a bit of a flat area off to the side, past the maribous

    At Gaud we used to stay past the Maribou's on the LHS as you go up the path; plenty of trees there to use... just watch out because that's where the NST/PGL staff tend to hammock!! (and the group won't be far away!)

    When hammocking it's worth setting the hammock high up... prevents a Boar crashing into you! We didn't bother with Tarps unless it was looking like it was going to rain, the only thing is that it gets cold in there even in June/July (I learnt that the hard way by not taking a sleeping bag!)

    I tended to hang my kit bag as well, again to keep the boars away from it; I think that we lost one barrel of food as it hadn't been fastened up.

    At both Bivi's there is clean (and nice) water, free charcoal for use in the BBQ's. As with the whole of the Gorge there are no open fires allowed, most of the time it might be a little wait before you can BBQ if you get in later, but as I'm lazy I find it easier that way!

    Hope that helps,

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattT View Post
    The section from Pradons is very gentle and not that exciting or scenic
    It's true that it is gentle, but that's why I said it was OK for a short family run. Not that scenic? I'd have to disagree, but each to their own - I don't mind if no-one else goes there, I'd be quite happy going down an empty river, stopping off for a swim and lunch on one of the pebbly beaches

    The real point of my original post is that it is possible to canoe down the river, yet walk back to the car.

    Anyway, the Pont D'Arc is amazing and well worth a look (very busy in the tourist season). The section from Ruoms down to Sampzon is nice too, and has a different feel from the Cirque des Gens to Ruoms; or even Balazuc to Ruoms.

    In fact, if you do the Balazuc to Ruoms run, you should stop off at La Vieille Audon - a small village that is being reconstructed by volunteers using traditional techniques. You can grab a bite to eat there, or just settle on the beach.
    Watch the Hasler Races, Basingstoke 2009 -> .

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdL View Post
    Adding to Matt's comments;

    At Gournier we used to hammock to the right of the hand of the site, there's a clump of trees with a bit of a flat area off to the side, past the maribous

    At Gaud we used to stay past the Maribou's on the LHS as you go up the path; plenty of trees there to use... just watch out because that's where the NST/PGL staff tend to hammock!! (and the group won't be far away!)

    When hammocking it's worth setting the hammock high up... prevents a Boar crashing into you! We didn't bother with Tarps unless it was looking like it was going to rain, the only thing is that it gets cold in there even in June/July (I learnt that the hard way by not taking a sleeping bag!)

    I tended to hang my kit bag as well, again to keep the boars away from it; I think that we lost one barrel of food as it hadn't been fastened up.

    At both Bivi's there is clean (and nice) water, free charcoal for use in the BBQ's. As with the whole of the Gorge there are no open fires allowed, most of the time it might be a little wait before you can BBQ if you get in later, but as I'm lazy I find it easier that way!

    Hope that helps,
    Thanks, guys, most helpfull
    Charlie
    I dont believe in Reincarnation, I didn't believe it when I was an Aardvark, and I dont believe it now!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatster View Post
    Hi - wondered if you found anywhere to hire rigid open boat rather than inflatable? All threads seem to indicate that hire companies don't offer any alternatives to inflatable because of damage risk. Also, as we are in planning stage of a June trip, wondered if you can give us any tips?
    We rented ours from alpha bateau in valon pont du arc.
    It was an old town discovery 158, but it was the only one we saw for rent. the owners said they had sold off their fleet as they was expensive to keep as most people are not bothered what they paddle. The staff in the shop are there are really helpful.

    http://www.canoe-france.com/en/ardeche/index.html

    Hope this helps

    Greg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattT View Post
    worked in the 'deche' over a number of years. Never seen an inflatable... There are very few hire companies that rent 'trad' open boats; most of the boats are made by 'Dag' and are plastic,
    I have a Dag myself, and I have made a bracket to hold an Action Cam that bolts into one of the brass inserts designed for a thigh strap - Do you happen to remember if the hire versions of the Dag have these inserts? or would I be better off taking a canoe helmet / mount?
    Thanks - Charlie
    I dont believe in Reincarnation, I didn't believe it when I was an Aardvark, and I dont believe it now!

  12. #12
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    Smile Booked!

    Quote Originally Posted by firebreather View Post
    We rented ours from alpha bateau in valon pont du arc.
    It was an old town discovery 158, but it was the only one we saw for rent. the owners said they had sold off their fleet as they was expensive to keep as most people are not bothered what they paddle. The staff in the shop are there are really helpful.

    http://www.canoe-france.com/en/ardeche/index.html

    Hope this helps

    Greg
    Thanks Greg - booked the Old Town yesterday! Delighted.

  13. #13
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    Default map of ardeche rapids for two day descent

    Hi all, I worked myself on th ardeche ten years ago and have now decided to show the family what its all about, I was wondering does any one know where online I can get a map of the rapids similiar to the maps the hire companies give the tourists. The memory is not the best and it will help selling the idea to the family if I at least sound as though I know what Iam talking about. Nothing worse than "sure its grand straight down the middle oops sorry, i forgot about that rock". any help much appreciated.

  14. #14
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    yeah i've had the old town from alpha bateau before, it's a bit battered but it's ok. No rigging on it though for lashing and no airbags, which you may need if the water is high!

    we bought some beach balls and lashed them in bow and stern, worked quite well when we swamped on the first rapids.

    watch out for 'black tooth', other than that it's a fantastic river and a lot of fun. Well worth getting out and exploring the old leper colony too.

    hang your food high in the bivi's or you'll get wild boar crashing around you all night which is fun to begin with but quickly get's annoying. the minute it get's dark you will here them charging around.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by old skool View Post
    I was wondering does any one know where online I can get a map of the rapids similiar to the maps the hire companies give the tourists.
    You can get a waterproof map from Le Canotier on this link. When I have used them they have posted to the UK in a couple of days.
    Gareth

  16. #16
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    Default map

    Quote Originally Posted by old skool View Post
    Hi all, I worked myself on th ardeche ten years ago and have now decided to show the family what its all about, I was wondering does any one know where online I can get a map of the rapids similiar to the maps the hire companies give the tourists. The memory is not the best and it will help selling the idea to the family if I at least sound as though I know what Iam talking about. Nothing worse than "sure its grand straight down the middle oops sorry, i forgot about that rock". any help much appreciated.
    I have a copy from my last trip down, p.m. me with your address and I will post it
    Charlie
    I dont believe in Reincarnation, I didn't believe it when I was an Aardvark, and I dont believe it now!

  17. #17
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    Default Ardeche canoe hire, guiding and support

    Hi there,

    I live out in Vallon pont d'arc at the top of the Ardeche gorge.

    Along with a couple of good friends I have set up a company out here offering, amongst other things, canoe guiding and outfitting.

    We have a small fleet of venture prospector 15's.

    I want to let people know that I am out here and would be more than happy to help people out. It could be looking for accomodation, up to date info on the river. Conditions in the Massif central, what ever.

    Please feel free to get in touch. PM me or email me at

    ian@Ltadventure.com

    All the best and hope to see some of you out here this summer.
    TAKE RISKS! Manage them well!!!

  18. #18
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    Default Ardeche camping and canoeing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian (Yak) McInnes View Post
    Hi there,

    I live out in Vallon pont d'arc at the top of the Ardeche gorge.

    Along with a couple of good friends I have set up a company out here offering, amongst other things, canoe guiding and outfitting.

    We have a small fleet of venture prospector 15's.

    I want to let people know that I am out here and would be more than happy to help people out. It could be looking for accomodation, up to date info on the river. Conditions in the Massif central, what ever.

    Please feel free to get in touch. PM me or email me at

    ian@Ltadventure.com

    All the best and hope to see some of you out here this summer.


    Ian - I'm coming out with my family this year so would be very keen to get in contact for several reasons (choosing site, renting another canoe, other activities for teenage son!). I've pinged you a message direct to your email.

  19. #19

    Default Paddling Ardeche

    Maybe a bit late for your June 09 trip, but worth a look for the future;

    ltadventure.com

    They do weekend trips as well as full weeks, in open boats.

  20. #20

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    Sorry Yak, didn't see you'd beat me to it.
    Have attached website link for all the up to date action

    http://ltadventure.com/about/

  21. #21

    Default Ardeche

    Hi everyone

    I need some help

    going to the ardeche 18 aug 2010
    need some advice etc on all things

    we fly to lyon - shall we hire a car or use public transport?
    i presume best to hire from vallon and finish at st martin?
    i want a 3 day decent - how would we do it?
    whos the best to hire from (want a open canoe old town if poss?
    could we camp on the river for the 2 nights
    where else is good to stay? good camp sites
    cheers inadvance

  22. #22
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    You could extend the trip from Vogue to St Martin to get your three day's worth.

    Camp at Vallon and again in the gorge.

  23. #23
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    I just got back from there (went late may early june)- spent about 5 days camped right by the arc - brilliant!

    I saw some proper open canoes for hire near Vallon - or at least they had them propped up outside the shop. They may not actually have any for hire though. I had my own boat so didn't ask. There were a lot of UK instructors floating about with school kids - they all had opens (venture rangers and the like) - if you ask they may be able to rent out an open depending on their requirements. Otherwise you'll be stuck with the plastic sit on tops. Are you a white water fan or just after good scenery or bit of both?

    I did the journey from Vallon to St.Martin in a day. Even travelling slowly you'll be pushed to make it 3 days. A two day descent is good if you really want to spend 2 hours or so playing on each wave - from Vallon to one of the bivvy sites halfway down the river, and then onwards. Water levels when I went were really good but the river changes dramatically with lower levels. I suspect it'll be quite low when you go.

    Travel really early in the morning or midday when everyone is having lunch.

    Another river worth doing is the Allier - not too far away - quieter and slightly more challenging water.

    Check out this book:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Water-.../dp/0951941364

    It really is the bible for the area and you'll very likely change your plans as a result of reading it. There are other just as interesting and far less busy rivers to run. The ardeche will be HEAVING at that time of the year.

    Anyhow - Avignon is much closer but Lyon will do. Car is very useful to have in the area as there is no public transport to speak of once you get in amongst the gorges. With a car you could explore many more rivers in the area.

    All the best,

    K

  24. #24
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    Hi Adrian,

    How was your Dordogne trip?

    K

  25. #25

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    Thats great info from you both ! Cheers
    I m not technical at all love open boats , fishing and camping and the odd surf wave!
    If avignon just as good as the ardeche?
    Cheers
    Dave

  26. #26
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    No Avignon is just the closest main city! Sorry for the confusion! I hadn't read that you'd already booked your flight to Lyon.

    K

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit2 View Post
    Hi Adrian,

    How was your Dordogne trip?

    K
    Next month Kelvin. I'm glad you enjoyed the area, I knew you would. I'll let you know about the Dordogne when i get back. I will be visiting the Ardeche though since my brother-in-law lives in that department.

  28. #28

    Default Ardeche 2010

    Hi I ve booked the flight gatwick to Lyon 56 pp rtn
    Looking at other costs now
    car hire 200 for 7 days(without fuel etc)
    60 euros pp for 3 day decent balruaz (i think it is to sauze) with oceanic i think it is
    with extra camping at vallon and guad
    I m i going to get anything better deal wise?
    any ideas what campsites to stay on , on the way down?
    i presume the sites are right by the river so kayaks would be secure over night?
    any help would be appreciated
    cheers
    dave

  29. #29
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    Cool Going there this weekend

    Dave - I'm driving down there with my Old Town Camper over the weekend to stay for 3 days - staying at Mondial Campsite - north bank near Vallon. I'll try and hook up to the web sometime and give a report on conditions for you. I'm new to it all but have hired a guide to take me and the family down to St Martin in one day. I wanted to stay at the bivvy site but the better half wasn't too keen on wild boars running around as she tried to sleep!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckmobile View Post
    staying at Mondial Campsite - north bank near Vallon. !
    Oooooo!, any chance of a campsite report as well please mate?

    I'll be there with wifey and our Stearns Back Country, last week Aug & 1st week Sept.

    looking for a suitable pitch for this baby..............................


    http://s306.photobucket.com/albums/n...ent=NavRig.jpg

  31. #31
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    Default Mondial site

    Quote Originally Posted by zaskar View Post
    Oooooo!, any chance of a campsite report as well please mate?

    I'll be there with wifey and our Stearns Back Country, last week Aug & 1st week Sept.

    looking for a suitable pitch for this baby..............................


    http://s306.photobucket.com/albums/n...ent=NavRig.jpg
    No problem Zaskar. May not post report until Thursday or Friday next week when I get to a house with wifi. Dave

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit2 View Post
    I just got back from there (went late may early june)- spent about 5 days camped right by the arc - brilliant!

    I saw some proper open canoes for hire near Vallon - or at least they had them propped up outside the shop. They may not actually have any for hire though. I had my own boat so didn't ask. There were a lot of UK instructors floating about with school kids - they all had opens (venture rangers and the like) - if you ask they may be able to rent out an open depending on their requirements. Otherwise you'll be stuck with the plastic sit on tops. Are you a white water fan or just after good scenery or bit of both?

    I did the journey from Vallon to St.Martin in a day. Even travelling slowly you'll be pushed to make it 3 days. A two day descent is good if you really want to spend 2 hours or so playing on each wave - from Vallon to one of the bivvy sites halfway down the river, and then onwards. Water levels when I went were really good but the river changes dramatically with lower levels. I suspect it'll be quite low when you go.

    Travel really early in the morning or midday when everyone is having lunch.

    Another river worth doing is the Allier - not too far away - quieter and slightly more challenging water.

    Check out this book:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Water-.../dp/0951941364

    It really is the bible for the area and you'll very likely change your plans as a result of reading it. There are other just as interesting and far less busy rivers to run. The ardeche will be HEAVING at that time of the year.

    Anyhow - Avignon is much closer but Lyon will do. Car is very useful to have in the area as there is no public transport to speak of once you get in amongst the gorges. With a car you could explore many more rivers in the area.

    All the best,

    K
    Was that a bit of low profile guerilla camping you were doing or is there just a restricted section?, as I got the impression the only allowed camping places were the official sites and the bivvy camps require booking in advance.
    Last edited by POTS; 17th-July-2010 at 06:28 PM.
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  33. #33
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    Default Ardeche Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckmobile View Post
    No problem Zaskar. May not post report until Thursday or Friday next week when I get to a house with wifi. Dave
    Zaskar - I've just finished a short 3 day stay there en route to a friend's house and took my Old Town as well as a Sevylor Pointer K2 for the children to mess around in. It was pretty choked with people - a large number of Dutch for some reason, maybe the recession hasn't hit the Netherlands... We stayed at Camping Mondial on the north bank close to the town, and it was very clean with good facilities so I can recommend it...provided your budget stretches to 40 a day for a family of 4 with a tent and hooked up to an electric point. I thought it was quite pricey though it was bang in the middle of the high season and over the Bastille Day celebrations.

    Anyway, we chose to do the whole 30k Ardeche trip (or thereabouts) in 1 day, and to be honest we ought to have taken everyone's advice and bivvyed half way and taken our time. When the wind gets up there is blows pretty hard, and the last 5k stretch to St Martin into the wind was more of an endurance test, not least as my single pistoned engine at the front (14 years old but happy to let Dad do the work) started spluttering and missing its beat!!! My wife and girl had a better time as we had hired a guide to take us down all the way, and he was somewhat more skilled than me at navigating the rapids, some of which are pretty full on for a novice. But brilliant fun and I will definitely be going again next year for a longer trip.

    Apparently the river was high for this time of year: the French have had the wettest start to any year since the early part of the last century and the water is still coming down off it.

    A word of warning - take loads of water in your boat. The heat was in the mid-thirties (mid to late 90 degrees F) and if that is not to your liking you will be drinking like the fish you see in plentiful supply below you.

    What a place....

  34. #34
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    Cheers Chuckmobile, very much appreciated.
    TBH, I'm getting a little bit worried about "doing" the Ardeche based on some of the posts.
    SWMBO will go bereserk if the rapids are "Full on for a novice".
    We've done the Dordogne a couple of times and experienced the small rapids on that and TBH, that was enough for us, we're more into chilling out than pooing it cos of lack of experience (or want there-of TBH).
    Are there plent of gentle stretches that we can do?

    As far as site cost go.......... I KNOW!!!!!!. its a flippin nightmare, even for just the 2 of us. I'm hoping to ease the cost by using ACSI (have you heard of it?) which can bring the cost of even 40 quid a night sites down to a standard fee of 15 quid a night..........much more like it.

    Thanks for getting back to me and I hope you all had a GREAT time (piccies?)

    Z

  35. #35
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    I hear what you say Zaskar but the rapids are short (so if you capsized, which I did 3 times) it is dead easy to get yourself sorted and b) the water is really warm. My 7 year old daughter and 14 yr son went to swim down them when we stopped in their buoyancy aids- even the feared Blacktooth, so don't let them put you off. Mrs Chuckmobile has only ever been on the Thames with me and was really nervous, but ended up loving it. Secondly, there are loads of chilled out sections between them - it is what I was told is a "pool drop" river, i.e. with long sections of easy stuff interspersed with shorter rapids.

    I have a few pics but am still on hols and can't download them.

    Interested to learn of ACSI. What is it?

  36. #36
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    Cheers Chuckmobile, you eased my mind there. it's a hell of a long way to drive (especially with a rig like mine!) only to find that SWMBO wont go within a mile of the water!

    Right, ACSI is (I believe) a Dutch originated organisation for camping. It's sort of a Club (13 anual) which gives HUGE discounts on some campsites in the UK and Europe. When you join, you get a handbook full of campsites which are assosiated with them BUT, you have to be carefull cos not ALL the sites in the book offer the discount. If it DOES offer a discount, it'll specifically tell you what the discount is AND the dates within which it is available (obviously, most of the peak periods are excempt cos they can make thier money anyway. I think the idea is to get people onto the sites in the quiet periods. For us, it's ideal cos not likeing crowds, we tend to go "out of season" anyway. For France, we ALWAYS do last week Aug / 1st week Sept, when everyone else has gone home. Makes it MUCH quieter and the weather is still good.
    A usefull tip for ACSI is to order the CD that they offer and load it on your laptop. The good thing about it is that in the memu on the l/h side, you can filter the on screen view for all sorts of requirement, ie "sites with hook up" or "sites with river access" or the best for price is, "ACSI discount only" that way, you only view the sites which actually offer the discount.

    Link to site http://www.campingcard.co.uk/gb/en/home/uc33-l2-n253/

    NOTE For anyone who may be interested in getting one of these cards, for this year it may say sold out BUT, if you are a member of either the Caravan Club or the Camping & Caravanning Club, its worth ringing them cos they buy in bulk to sell on to members. We got ours from the C.C.C after ACSI had sold out.
    If you want a card for next years holiday, best to order one this year.

    HTH
    Last edited by zaskar; 20th-July-2010 at 06:30 AM.

  37. #37
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    Default

    It is a requirement of my wife coming paddling with me that I ensure she never falls out of the boat. We therefore never run harder than grade 2 even if I am confident of staying upright.

  38. #38
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zaskar View Post
    Cheers Chuckmobile, you eased my mind there. it's a hell of a long way to drive (especially with a rig like mine!) only to find that SWMBO wont go within a mile of the water!
    Personally I would steer clear of any campsite on the Ardeche in high season (July/August). Last year we camped on one of its equally pleasant tributaries the Chassezac. Details are on this thread.
    Nice river, plenty of scope for paddling, swimming and doing nothing. Only 30 minutes drive or so from the Ardeche should you wish to paddle on it, but much less busy. We turned up on spec and got a pitch (a bit of a risk as there was only 1 left), you would stand no chance of doing that on the Ardeche.

    I suspect that we will be back there this summer (look out for a VW T5 with a trailer!).
    Gareth

  39. #39
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    Cheers mate, excellent info & link. We'll have a look at the Ardeche anyway cos we always go late season when it's quieter but we'll definately be visiting the Allier based on that.
    Wifey likes to go somewhere & stop but I get itchy feet. We could split our time half & half between the two.

    Cheers.

  40. #40

    Default

    hi
    Would you advise taking my sevylor colorado to the ardeche for a 3 day decent or would you hire?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVIDBENNETT View Post
    hi
    Would you advise taking my sevylor colorado to the ardeche for a 3 day decent or would you hire?
    I saw a few Colorados on the river but upstream of the national park/gorge. You should be mindful that once you get into the gorge you have to be committed to get to the other end around St Martin as there is no real way of extracting yourself easily if you get into difficulty. I don't know how robust a Colorado is but I can say for certain that you will end up grounding out from time to time, and hitting a few underwater obstacles (!). Mind you, the gorge is all soft limestone and there are no sharp edges in the water.

  42. #42

    Default

    Cheers!
    we want to camp at bivvy gaud or gourmier
    do we have to book inadvance or what?
    cheers

  43. #43
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    Certainly in the high season I would strongly recommend it. Although we did not intend to stop over, nevertheless had we wanted to we would not have stood a chance - we went over Bastille Day and the place was heaving.

  44. #44

    Default

    cool
    thanks for all the advice - all booked
    we are doing a three day decent in a sevylor colorado from bazaluc to saint martin
    stayin at le clapas (near vallon) and gournier (national park one bivvy)

  45. #45

    Default Stearns Back Country

    Hi is your canoe a inflatable? are you taking it to the ardeche and are inflatables ok for the rapids?
    as i m taking my sevylor colorado in 2 weeks and not sure if its goning to be a wise move?


    Quote Originally Posted by zaskar View Post
    Oooooo!, any chance of a campsite report as well please mate?

    I'll be there with wifey and our Stearns Back Country, last week Aug & 1st week Sept.

    looking for a suitable pitch for this baby..............................


    http://s306.photobucket.com/albums/n...ent=NavRig.jpg

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVIDBENNETT View Post
    cool
    thanks for all the advice - all booked
    we are doing a three day decent in a sevylor colorado from bazaluc to saint martin
    stayin at le clapas (near vallon) and gournier (national park one bivvy)
    Have a fantastic trip - its a memorable place.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVIDBENNETT View Post
    Hi is your canoe a inflatable? are you taking it to the ardeche and are inflatables ok for the rapids?
    as i m taking my sevylor colorado in 2 weeks and not sure if its goning to be a wise move?
    Hi David.
    Yes, it is an inflatable. if you look through my posts on here you'll find some photos of mine.
    have a great holiday and dont forget to blog when you get back.
    Between you and Chuckmobile I should have a bundle of info to take with me and be pre-warned!

  48. #48

    Default Mozzies

    Cant remember if the mozzies are bad
    if so what spray/cream do you recomend?
    cheers

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVIDBENNETT View Post
    Cant remember if the mozzies are bad
    if so what spray/cream do you recomend?
    cheers

    anything with DEET in it. If you've got time, Google and order Avon Skin So Soft. Sounds poncy but works at treat.
    Last edited by zaskar; 11th-August-2010 at 10:17 AM.

  50. #50

    Default

    Perfect thanks for that
    one last thing
    think i better get travel insurance
    whats the best but not too expensive
    i want to be covered for injury on the river maybe?, loss of kayak on plane or in France
    what else have i left out?
    I ve got a e111 card but defo need some kind of insurance
    who do you lot use?
    cheers
    dave

  51. #51
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    I was insured with the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) - it's not mega expensive and they definitely cover all paddle sports up to ANY grade... yes that's right ANY grade. I couldn't believe it when I called them... I guess they feel that canoeing is just loads safer than climbing. Otherwise you could try Dog Tag but I think that paddling Grade 2+ water puts you into their expensive sports category.

    The problem is that some of the rapids on the Ardeche are classed as Grade 3 (or -3). Most travel insurance doesn't cover white water activities and those that do only seem to cover up to Grade 2 water. If anything were to happen (touch wood), the last thing you want is for some call centre person to type in Ardeche, see it listed as a grade 2/3 river and go "sorry computer says no!".

    The only down side with the BMC is that you have to be a member which is an added cost to the insurance (+25 I think) - unless you fancied taking up climbing which is an excellent sport in itself! I did a couple of grade 3 rivers plus a bunch of climbing on my trip so it all made sense.

    One thing I DO know is that the BMC insurance is proper insurance - if you're in the s**t they will sort you out. No call centres or rubbish like that, you get a real human being with a real brain.

    K

  52. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default Water levels

    Balazuc down to the confluence may be awfully dry in August. If there is water the upper gorges are a great treat. Water is often released into the Ardeche via the Chatazac which joins someway downstream of Ruoms.

    I have used the BMC insurance for years. They have umpteen levels of insurance right up to climbing himalayan peaks so someone paddling grade 2-3 water seems very low risk to them. They are also good when you need them.

    Ray
    www.RayGoodwin.com

    Paddling a Venture Prospector (in CoreLite X) using Downcreek Paddles

  53. #53
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    I use Direct Travel, they have a premium for grade 3 but it is not much. I don't know if they cover boats, I take it out for the medical cover and I see it as my responsibility to look after my gear.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVIDBENNETT View Post
    loss of kayak on plane
    Presumably the plane company will be responsible for this?

  55. #55

    Default 3 day decent complete

    Had an amazing time balazuc to st martin last week! really cool
    what do you wanna know re the trip as i will try and help as much as poss!
    Dave

  56. #56

    Default

    A brief synsapses to help with any questions:
    balazuc to st martin in a inflatable sevylor colardo
    camped at la clapas at valon river edge and
    gourmier bivvi in a 4 hour torrential thunder lighting rain storm (amazing)
    about 60k all in all
    loads of big fish caught, wild boar, scorpions, frogs , king fishers, river snakes
    grade 1/2 rapids as pretty low before the rain storm
    canoe services helped get back to balazuc
    11euros for 26 bottles of kronanburg beer from the inter mache
    good snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking
    car hire essential as limited taxi and buses etc
    30 + degs every day
    defo doin it again next year

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