French Alps 2019 paddling trip
Day 1 The Durance from the campsite to St Clement by Aaron Jackson
After our eventful 23-hour journey on the minibus we finally arrived at the camp site, everyone exhausted we decided to have a nice chilled night. As this was my first-time out to the Alps, my excitement and anxiety started to kick in.
We started our two-week journey on the Durance which was flowing very quickly. I was very nervous as this was the fastest river I have ever done.
As we drifted down the flowing river the scenery surrounding us was fantastic.
About halfway down we approached a rock cliff on a sweeping bend with a low overhang. Craig used the branch in the overhang to assist himself to get around, but Stuart decided to “get up and personal” with the gigantic overhang. This resulted in Stuart becoming upside down with a gentle bump from Neil and then a half-hearted attempt at helping him up resulted in a swim for Stuart. Sarah came to Stuart’s rescue by getting out of her boat to assist emptying Stuart’s. Sarah gained 2 gold stars off Keith for her heroic effort of saving Stuarts life.
Soon we made it down to St Clement Slalom Course where we played on the waves and paddled the rapids. We then returned to the top wave where we practiced throw lines rescues and defensive swimming. Ron had a nice swim past the practice area as Aleksander decided to let go of his throw line. Most managed to perfect their throws and pendulum the victims (casualties) into the eddy below.
Then back to the campsite where everyone relaxed and made food. Eager to get going for the next day.