mercredi, septembre 01, 2010

Canoeing & Kayaking in the Dordogne River

Hub and the Babies in a canoe at Vitrac

I am suffering from indigestion. It's taking me alot of time to regurgitate tell you about my last holiday, because I'm boring myself writing about it and there is nothing more painful than a half-hearted travel writer, especially one who is not being paid or offered free meals to do the job.

You'll tell me that I needn't do it, of course. But besides wanting to show off inform my faithful public, this is really the best way for me to save time and saliva, or I'll have to repeat myself silly if I should verbally inform my own family and that of my Hub's, not to mention half of the school community, what I've been up to during the Summer.

People often ask you about your Summer out of politeness (some unwritten code of conduct, I guess), and whether they really want to know about it or not, you are still obliged to tell them something about it.

My other problem is that I've made some sort of resolution to be more serious this new school year with my person, language and thoughts, but as we know, a leopard cannot change its spots and I feel like a beef stroganoff in a crock pot these days.

If you've bothered to read through my last few accounts, you must feel as bored as I did with both language and content. It is true that there wasn't much to laugh about. It was no fun travelling with Hub and those 3 kids, there was always someone to contradict or irritate me, and nobody wanted to go shopping or visit the supermarket or spend a few hours walking through villages and towns checking out all the shops. All they wanted to do was swim in some body of water or exert themselves in some sport when we were supposed to be on holiday.

The activity base at Cénac

And so we found ourselves in the Dordogne river the day after our arrival in La Roque-Gageac (I escaped plunging into it the day itself because it was too late to do anything), minus credit cards (I always feel naked without at least one), leather-bound agenda, smelling salts (I'm just kidding), mobile phone (not that I was expecting anybody to call me), the school's contact list (I wasn't going to call anybody either) and worse of all, (minus) my camera. Activity has no purpose when I couldn't take a photo to prove immortalise it.

On our first 3-hour canoeing expedition down the River Dordogne, we started out at Cénac with 2 canoes (one 2-seater and one 3-seater), life jackets and single paddles for everyone. I had the misfortune to share a canoe with the Teenager who was really lazy beyond doubt or belief. From what I was told, you need someone in front to paddle hard, and someone behind to guide the canoe in the right direction. When he was in front he wouldn't paddle, and when he was behind he didn't know how to guide (till the last 30 minutes of our endeavour) - so I was the only one paddling really hard whether I was in front or behind. And those 3 hours seemed really long when you kept turning around in circles because of the lack of good guidance.

The only person you want in your canoe is Babinette. I've fed her well, she's an Amazon. And she was in Hub's canoe.

The Dordogne river at Cénac

I have no pictures to share with you of our trip down the river since I couldn't take the risk of wetting my camera (plus I needed to paddle). You will have to take my word that physical pain aside, the view was gorgeous and this activity really something one has to try at least once when in the region. We passed by a few beautiful villages on our way e.g. la Roque-Gageac, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, Beynac...And those villages are even more beautiful seen from the river. Most of them are fortified due to the constant attacks that they received especially from the Vikings in the past. The first day we were canoeing was cloudy so we were more or less the only ones in the river and it was so peaceful (if only I could interrupt the monotony of paddling by taking a few pictures) and almost spiritual.

The Teenager starting out in his kayak at Vitrac

On our second trip 2 days later down the same river, the family (I refused to join in this time) started out at the port of Vitrac and they had a 3-seater canoe and a one-seater kayak. The Teenager sat in the kayak so that he had no option but to paddle. They had a sunny day and a great time.

So besides eating foie gras and confit de canard or visiting piles of medieval stones, you can also do something healthy like canoeing and kayaking in the Dordogne. Burn a few calories and then eat again.

1 commentaire:

Pris a dit…

Hey Serene
You're so funny even when you're "half-hearted". I totally agree with the thing about no camera = not being there. Its hard to blog when you haven't taken any photos of your experience!