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Thread: Flying with canoes to paddle the Drome

  1. #1

    Default Flying with canoes to paddle the Drome

    Morning,

    I'm planning a trip with some friends, we're currently thinking that we want to do a multi-day trip on the Drome (France), from as high up as we can start, possibly heading into the Rhone and continuing until we run out of time. To get there we're planning on flying from Edinburgh to Lyon, transporting our boats in the plane. Rough thoughts at the moment that we will refine.

    Looking for advice if anyone has any, all thoughts welcome. Below are the questions we are currently trying to answer:

    1. From where does the Drome become navigable? What is it like?
    2. Is there a decent guide to the river?
    3. Are there any known obstacles that might cause difficulty?
    4. Is it realistic to expect to be able to drop onto the Rhone and paddle this?
    4. Has anyone flown boats to France before? Are there any challenges?
    5. How does one go about organising transport for the boats? I've looked and can't find much that is suitable, short of hiring a couple of cars and supplying the roof racks ourselves. Maybe a large commercial van (like a sprinter) and chuck everything in the back?


    Feel free to answer any of the questions or just give advice that I have not asked for! Anything welcome.

    Thanks

    Dave

  2. #2
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    If you're talking open canoes, not kayaks, I'm pretty sure no airline will take them I'm afraid. This is why I bought a folding canoe. Kayaks should be possible depending on the airline.

    The other option is canoe hire. MarkL will no doubt pop along at some point to give a view on options.

    I also think the car logistics would probably make driving there, for some of the group at least, the most viable option.

    Can't help with the river, but plenty of others here have paddled at least some of it, so can hopefully advise.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

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  3. #3

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    Thanks Mal,

    We're travelling from North Scotland, so that would make it a 2400 mile round trip! Easy Jet now take small canoes for £45 each way, it has been confirmed that they understand canoes, not kayaks.

    Thanks for responding.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdav83 View Post
    Thanks Mal,

    We're travelling from North Scotland, so that would make it a 2400 mile round trip! Easy Jet now take small canoes for £45 each way, it has been confirmed that they understand canoes, not kayaks.

    Thanks for responding.
    ,
    Interesting and promising. They've previously told me my folding canoe would be £75!! (Most just charge me for an extra bag).

    Yeah, its a fair old drive from up there!

    I was on the mobile earlier so just brief, but can expend on the comment I made about hire. MarkL has an "outfitter" type business based on the Lot. Its possibly too far from the Drome, but he'd no doubt be happy to talk about it, and is always willing to share knowledge. He also knows some of the other guys out there, especially around the Ardeche. His business is https://www.canoemassifcentral.com/ Just for clarity, I am a mate of his!

    As the OCF occurs on the Drome each spring, there must be folk here who go to that and know a bit about the river.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  5. #5
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    I've paddled from Die at grade 2 (a couple of stiff 2 rapids)

    If you mean shorter boats than trad, you should be able to start higher

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_B View Post
    Just after the bridge in the picture on the link is a beach on the left, jump out there and walk up to the road for a good café for drinks.

  8. #8
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    Had a look on Google and, if you are going in the summer, there is unlikely to be enough water above Die, it looks pretty shallow up there. Short boats have a deeper draught.

    I think we started near the paintballing site by some allotments

  9. #9
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    Easyjet limit is 4.3m so not many tandems but plenty of solo WW canoes will fit.

    Not sure I understand the issue regarding distance, I live in west central Scotland and drove 2 return trips to the alps last summer, first one to Muotathal in Switzerland (just me), via Canoe Diffusion to pick up my Extasy and second one to L'argentiere La Bessee in France with one passenger. Both for paddling trips. My plan for both was to get a late ferry and sleep on it and cover lots of miles early morning before France woke up (beware, England does motorway roadworks through the night now and often closes sections to thwart night driving plans!)

    Certainly makes things easier having your own car(s) and carrying system compared to trying to sort it all out in the pick up area at the airport (I've done this on trips to the US a couple of times, it can be stressful).

    As for the Rhone, it was discussed here in the last year, someone reported that it is feasible but confirmed that it is a massive river where wind can be a significant challenge as well as some rapids and shipping. I guess if you are heading as high up the Drome as you can you probably have the skills/knowledge to cope, I think best consider it more like open water paddling than a river, best dig up the old thread in case I remembered wrong though.

    How hard can it be?

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