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Thread: A wander ... the Sioule and Lot at Entraygues

  1. #1
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    Default A wander ... the Sioule and Lot at Entraygues

    Hi

    having had a couple of days gap from the June hire rush, Louise decided that we should take advantage and go somewhere else for a few days. I threw a boat on top of the van, she said 'that wasn't what I meant' and thus we left in perfect harmony.

    We had a sort of plan based around a recce trip to the gorges of the river Sioule, partly just to check it out ourselves and partly to do a bit of last minute fact checking on the forthcoming guide by Mr Knowles. As good an excuse as any I suppose.

    We headed over via the Cantal, stopping in Massiac at a free motorhome aire in town on the way and arriving at the small municipal camping at Pont de Menat the following day.



    The old Roman bridge looked pretty good in the sunshine.








    We pitched up on the site and had a walk up to the bar at Sioule Loisirs, one of the local plastic hire companies. We hit there just as lunch was in progress and I have to say that the food looked pretty good.



    To be honest, I had planned to try to paddle the upper and the lower section from the site but in the event, the lower section was looking pretty boney and I wasn't really fancying a long wet walk so I made do with a bimble on the upper section. The Sioule is located between Montlucon and Clermont Ferrand so is a possible stop off for those driving down from the UK that way.

    Pete's new guide covers both bits but it is pretty simple ....

    Upper section - 12km of mostly flat G1 with some broken stone weir drops
    Lower section - more in the bouncy style of G1(2ish) with a notable drop part way down.

    Some typical views of the upper section ....





    In the end, I did a short bit of the top section, not fancying a long flat drag in 36 degree heat but I should probably have done the lower section below Pont de Menat. Still, I can always do it another time.

    The camp site was excellent value indeed at less than 13 Euro for two people, two nights with my van and no electricity. Not bad at all

    We had a bit of a debate about 'what next' and decided that a run back via Entraygues could be a good idea .... Louise like's Entraygues and I like that bit of the river Lot. After a very flat upper section paddle on the Sioule, I wanted some moving water. Thus it came to pass that we found ourselves relocated to the camping then bar in Entraygues ...



    There followed a bit of debate about whether to paddle or not. The barrage was still releasing big drops of water following the early June rain and a lunchtime drop on the day of our arrival put the level up by over 3/4 of a meter. Not ideal. We stayed safely in the bar and discussed it.

    By Saturday, I'd checked with the locals with no response but reasoned that it was likely to be only overnight releases at the weekend so I dumped the boat in from the camping and set off. Levels were certainly higher than normal at this time but that was fine by me.

    Not much in the way of hire customers at the ASVOLT base ....



    In fact I only saw two sit on tops all the way down. I haven't paddled here for a while now so when the V between these couple of rocks was spotted, I thought 'that'll be La Digue' and dropped through it into the eddy.



    It wasn't though as another 100 meters or so downstream I heard La Digue. Big stopper wave at the bottom of the gap would certainly pump some water into most boats if met head on. I elected to sort of sneak down the side of the stopper as I dropped down and didn't get a photo due to needing hands to do it. I did take a bad one from above though ...



    It was then onwards in the familiar style of this bit of river .... decent bouncy wave trains coming up regularly. They were a bit more pushy than normal but nothing serious.



    One thing that was noticeable was the little whirl pools and odd eddies that tried to grab the boat throughout the run. Quite reminiscent of the Tarn recently.



    The ASVOLT guys have signposted the notable features all the way down to Le Port so I was soon coming up on one of the major ones .... La Pierre Plate (Flat Rock) which normally has a biggish hole behind it. I set myself properly in the boat and waited to get there. In the event, I never did. It was under water far enough to pass by more or less unnoticed so I was back onto a flatter section soon enough ...





    The levels did mean that so either channels which are not normally runnable came into play though so I used those to bounce around a bit instead where I could and the main river is always moving below you anyway.







    Typical French afternoon scene on the river with the buzzardy, birdy things circling above ....



    and a very pleasant river view



    More ASVOLT signage came into view ....



    In the peak of summer, the hire boats gather here to allow them all to jump off the rock. I skipped past it myself heading towards the next sign and the major feature of this run, La Daze ....



    I did think of checking it out given the levels were higher but in the end decided that I'd either fall out or not and I know there is a long expanse of not much after it to recover anyway so I just lined up and ran the big bouncy thing (photos from below) ....









    A bit of video of La Daze





    In the event, I again skirted the main wave train to the left this time and came down without anything major. I sort of side slapped the freeboard of the boat on the side of one wave and a bit curled over the woodwork but all good.




    I had a poke about the small peninsula formed there and stretched my legs a bit. No wild camping here millud, no certainly not, never ......








    Then it was on to the last 2 km of fairly flat paddle before the little rapid coming into the canoe base at Le port ....






    A very enjoyable run down with a decent amount of interest throughout making it a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. Louise picked me up in the van and we set off in a round about way towards the bar just over the passarelle at Entraygues (Restaurant de Paris) where a half litre of wine is the exorbitant sum of 4 euro. Food wasn't bad there either.

    One more stop on the little camping at Belcastel en Aveyron for a chilled night under the castle ....




    And home today to do battle with image upload to bloody Flickr which isn't the smoothest thing I've seen

    Hope you enjoyed it

    Regards
    Last edited by MarkL; 2nd-July-2018 at 03:14 PM.
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  2. #2
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    Good to see you out enjoying the local rivers without those pesky customers holding you up.
    Looks like a good river, any chance of a "release" catching up and making the day over-exciting ?

    Thanks for all your help on our trip

    Nick

  3. #3
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    Nice to see the Sioule from river level, rather than the briefest glance of the bit under the A71 Autoroute.

    For reference, Pont de Menat: http://www.paddlepoints.net/PaddlePoints.php?PP=10182


    The Lot run looks good at that level, though I suspect La Daze was bigger than it looks! Must go back sometime.

  4. #4
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    Looks great. Such a chore this research lark

  5. #5
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    "Louise decided that we should take advantage and go somewhere else for a few days. I threw a boat on top of the van, she said 'that wasn't what I meant' and thus we left in perfect harmony."

    Probably not the best way to get on the right side of the "tiny QMG" but you do like to live dangerously.

    Glad to see that it's not all work and no play for you folks, and that you also get to enjoy the environment you have made your home.

    Good blog too.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  6. #6
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    You don't get service like that every day- I asked Mark about a campsite the other day and he's been to check it out personally! Thanks Mark, campsite looks exactly what we're after.
    -------------------------
    You! Off my planet!

  7. #7
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    any chance of a "release" catching up and making the day over-exciting
    yep, I’d guess so on a bigger release. Bit more like Bondi rescue.

    probably not the best way to get on the right side ....
    thats probably why that job application for Relate never got a reply too.

    i suspect La Daze was bigger than it looked
    yeah but just a bigger wave train really. S ferries would have been interesting though. It was about double the level on the HE gauge against when you went there last.

    you don’t get service like that ....
    its a terrible hardship but we try to please

    cheers guys
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  8. #8
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    Buzzardy, birds things! Nice day Mark.
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  9. #9
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    Very Nice mate.

  10. #10
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    Very nice...
    --
    Martin
    Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris (If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ounce View Post
    You don't get service like that every day- I asked Mark about a campsite the other day and he's been to check it out personally! Thanks Mark, campsite looks exactly what we're after.
    To me that sounds like both my server experts are going to be in the same place. I’m so excited

  12. #12
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    Sadly not John, I'll be there for one night only en route to the Ardeche for two weeks at the back end of August. It's an R&R holiday not a canoeing one, maybe I'll be able to take a boat next year
    -------------------------
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ounce View Post
    Sadly not John, I'll be there for one night only en route to the Ardeche for two weeks at the back end of August. It's an R&R holiday not a canoeing one, maybe I'll be able to take a boat next year
    I could sneak one over there while no one is looking
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  14. #14
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    What it would really mean is that both your server experts are pissed at the same time. This may, or may not, help the future of SOTP's server operations.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    What it would really mean is that both your server experts are pissed at the same time. This may, or may not, help the future of SOTP's server operations.
    Id just like to point out that this could happen anyway, though not together physically
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkL View Post
    I could sneak one over there while no one is looking
    Thanks Mark, but 'discovery' isn't the problem. The local river where we're going is la Beaume at Le Gua, near to Joyeuse, not usually canoe water in August. I'm not sure it's ever "canoeable" tbh, the more particularly at my skill level which barely scratches the back of amateur.

    Mrs Ounce is actually quite sanguine about the whole canoe thing, provided I don't insist she gets in one on anything other than a flat calm day in water where she's never out of her depth. Not the easiest thing to arrange more than a few times a year in the Lakes.
    -------------------------
    You! Off my planet!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkL View Post
    Id just like to point out that this could happen anyway, though not together physically
    In vino veritas. Which I frequently am, veritas be told.
    -------------------------
    You! Off my planet!

  18. #18
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    That looks great mark think we will have to get some river paddling booked in now we are having to use two boats tobey is getting a bit to big and wants his own canoe ��

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by darren1 View Post
    That looks great mark think we will have to get some river paddling booked in now we are having to use two boats tobey is getting a bit to big and wants his own canoe ��
    christ, that’s an eye opener for parents. My kids are long past being kids so I have already past that realisation but there you go.

    give me a shout anytime if you need help and advice ... even if not hiring from us, I’m usually happy to help out with local knowledge if I can.
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



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