Sunday, 6 October 2013

Ardeche River adventure part 1

 This is the story of a 10 day adventure to go canoeing the rapids of the Ardeche River through the gorge in France. We organised it with PGL and I took the girls on a road -trip there crossing the Channel at Dover with P&O ferries. It started with a day of packing, washing and planning and then off we went after breakfast for  2.5 hr- which turned into  3.5 hr drive to Dover as we sat in congestion on the southern half of the M25. The girls slept mostly and I drove, getting very excited to see the sea when I breached the last hill and could see Dover , the port and the ferries all lying below with a gloriously blue-green sea beyond.
 Just leaving the port.
 Saying goodbye to those white cliffs...
 Hello sea
 Bonjour France.
 Bonjour Calais.
 And at the first ''AIRE'' where we obtained petrol, we found the glorious ''Paul'' macaroons and pastries and I replenished my caffeine levels with tea.

 Abricot pattiserie: one of my favourites.
 Driving through glorious countryside along mostly quiet and empty motorways to Dijon , where we arrived at about 10 pm French time. This is where we had dinner , though many snacks including sandwiches and pizza had been obtained along the route. A little lively square in the centre of Dijon after we had checked into our hotel. It was warm even at 10 pm.The place was buzzing on this moonlit balmy Friday evening. 22 August.
 The planned arrival of 20:30 was more like 21:45 which was due to the congestion, leaving slightly later and the stops on the way but the Sat Nav was extremely helpful except when it could not find the hotel so we had to park in the centre of the town and walk back as it took us the wrong way to the correct street which turned out to be one way.
 I went to collect the car the following morning early so we could park at the hotel and set of more comfortably.

 And though I would not recommend the hotel , the breakfast was plentiful.
 We had time to look around Dijon and do a little shopping, Sephora was one of the attractions for the girls and for me it was the architecture and the Ducal Palace.

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