Text and pictures © 2006-2013 Guillaume Dargaud
Last updated on 2012/11/27
"Rock climbing, for me, is liking making Love to the Stone... for that I like to take some clothes off and be comfortable." — Karl Baba.
Left: 'Crack Boum Hue', a crack with excellent jams, somewhat similar to the more famous 'Incredible Hand Crack' in Utah. Yes, it's bolted, which takes some of the fun out of it.
Right: 'La Roche', village with great view.
Above: The Chaulet cliffs along the Ardeche river. Plenty of excellent routes there, unfortunately a bit worn out by its popularity.
Above: As the river goes down between the cliffs, canoeists look up at the climbers, and climbers try not to fall on them.
Left: Ducks and canoes.
Right: Canoeing is so popular on the Ardeche, it's turned into a real industry with rentals everywhere.
Right: The ride is so easy that they give you the canoes with only a few words of warning (like don't stand on your heads as you ride down the rapids).
Left: Arrival under the famous arch of Vallon Pont d'Arc.
Right: Lines of canoes passing under the arch. Just after we stopped on a mostly empty beach, 50 canoes with pairs of english teenagers stopped right at the same stop for lunch. Incredibly orderly I must say.
Left: Unfortunately their lunch (and ours) was cut short by a Darwin award nominee who decided to jump off the top of the arch into the water. First hint: the underside of the arch is 35m above the water. Second hint: the water is hardly 2m deep at most. Third hint: when you hear your spine go 'crunch', don't pretend you are alright; just be glad of the help and try to make it till the chopper arrives. Mkay ? I have no idea if the guy survived.
Right: Vertical panorama of the arch of Pont d'Arc.
Left: Paddling down the river you are most likely to catch a sunburn or a paddle on the head from a nearby canoe than to fall into the water.