Gorges de Régalon
Of course last week wasn't only spent getting up Mont Ventoux. It would have gotten pretty boring pretty soon for both me and my passengers. Even though it was a lovely mountain! We also spent some time hiking through a gorge where we weren't allowed to hike (nobody saw/read the sign) and we went canooing. And when I say we, I mean we, because I went along!
The gorge was situated in the 'Lubéron', a small mountain range in the Provence (east of Avignon). After parking and having lunch (mine consisted of a can of Fanta, since I hadn't been able to get a proper foody lunch), we started out on the trail. There were fallen trees on the trail, causing us all to duck and almost crawl along, but after a while the path got a bit better and we even passed a small olive grove. We saw a fence, but since we were only warned for falling rocks, we moved on anyway.
Pretty soon there were only five of us left. Two boys who could have been mistaken for mountain goats, two girls and me. It was weird to be left like that, because you couldn't hear anyone anymore. We might have taken the wrong route for all we knew, getting lost in the French wilderness! But then again, it was a gorge and one way in, means one way out! But then the path got more narrow by the minute and we encountered our first obstacle: we had to clamber over some rocks that were blocking our path. One of the boys went up first and was up in about ten seconds. Then it was my turn, but I had a very cumbersome bag with me. So, I had to throw that towards the boy first. Then (on my flip-flops) I had to climb up. With quite a few difficulties I managed to get up, but it did take me over three minutes. The girls who were trying to get up after me, also had trouble, mostly because there were hardly any places to place your feet. We all managed it though and felt very good about our climb.
We continued on our way and met some more obstacles, but helping each other we managed to get across them all. We finally met up with the rest of the group, but they were already on their way back! We waited until the majority had passed before going back ourselves (the others made so much noise!) and even gathered some more people. We were now a group of about eight. We had a great time walking back. But the obstacles up are sometimes easier than the same obstacles down. And holding the walls of the gorge wasn't always an option either, since they were covered by millipedes! So gross... I made it though, with a little help on occasion, and we got back to the parking lot.
The River Gardon
The day after that we went canooing. This time I wasn't going to get caught out with lunch again and I had some chocolate-pip-rolls with me (very yummy). Because of the odd numbers (and because I'm a very nice person presumably), they wanted me to come as well. We had to canoo down the river Gardon for about 8 km (5 miles), which I thought was quite far. Especially since the girl I was sharing my canoo with was only half my size and therefor had a completely different strength as well. So, it took us quite a while to be able to go straight down the river instead of going in circles or hitting the bank.
Pont du Gard taken from the middle of the river
After a while (does it have something to do with me?) we were all by ourselves. In the far distance I could occasionally see some yellow paddles, but other than that we were alone. It was quite good fun though, the girl I was sharing my canoo with, was a nice girl who didn't mind chatting. Halfway through the trip we caught up with quite a number of them because they had stopped to rest. We saw one boy run/swim after his canoo, because the other boy hadn't realised he wasn't there. A few km later we caught up with the teachers as well and got out. There was to be a presentation about where we were. It was a lovely spot, just in sight of the Pont du Gard (which you can see on the €5-note). After that it was only a few km more to our destination.
We had had a lovely day and I managed to get quite a tan as well. I was happy the next day was a day off though, first my legs and then my arms: I was quite tired!