A family holiday in the south of France offered the opportunity to try paddle a different craft from the usual sea kayaks and it was amazing how easy it was to organize. We arrived at the Club de Canoe Kayak at Aubeterre sur Dronne and within minutes 11 of us were being whisked upstream in two mini buses with 5 open canoes and crews whose ages ranged from 8 years of age to 85.
We completed a journey of just over 5 kilometres in a little over 2 hours. It was just so simple to arrange and good value, it made me think how much more complex the arrangements would have been to get a similar group on the water in the UK. Perhaps we have a lot to learn from the French and interestingly about 75 per cent of the groups that we saw around the centre and preparing to paddle were from the UK.
The river was pretty gentle meandering through a rural landscape and apart from 2 fishermen and another family of English canoeists we had the river to ourselves.
Age is no barrier to enjoying being on the water.
Taking the canoe shoot was much easier than the portage route although for some of the group it was more exciting than they anticipated.
If the weight distribution in the canoe wasn’t quite right then it was easy to fill the craft with significant amounts of water. This is the oldest member of the team going over the fall.