Thursday, 2 July 2009

Canyon de Baracci

Truth be told, it’s a wonder I am able to write this blog after a bit of an accident at the river this morning. We only had a few hours and didn’t fancy the beach so we decided to set off early and walk down through the Canyon de Baracci to the river below.

What a beautiful place – all we could hear was the birds singing and the echo of our voices as we picked our way carefully down the canyon. This is not a path of the hiking variety, but rather a small granite gorge with ledges to walk along and hang on to. We made it down safely to a really pretty spot where we could sit on the rocks in the sun and Guillaume could paddle in the water.

We decided to take turns walking upstream a bit further to take photos. I couldn’t believe the colour of the rocks which looked almost blood red under the clear water. We also came across a shallow section where people before us had arranged the stones like mini sculptures.

It was whilst walking back that I realised the importance of rock shoes as I lost my footing and ended up head first in the river. Most of the little pools are shallow, but this one was a very deep section with a gushing waterfall so I managed to go right under, backpack and all. Florence’s main concern was of course my camera (in my back pack at the time), not whether I was going to drown! Luckily I was saved and managed to make it back to the flat rocks completely soaked, with a twisted knee, gammy toe and slightly dazed!

After we’d built a dam out of rocks in the small waterfall just below, and played pooh sticks with pine cones, we settled in to a lunch of magret de canard with French bread and delicious fresh apricots and cherries – yum!

Some German canyoners arrived shortly afterwards to find me still in my underwear while my clothes were drying on the rocks, so it was lucky it was a matching day and could have been mistaken for a bikini. We watched in awe as they leapt off the top of the canyon into the deep rock pool below, and swam through the gorge to the next section. On the way back up to the car we heard screams of delight and managed to catch a glimpse of them abseiling down the rock face in front of yet another huge waterfall. What a fabulous morning!

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