Part 5: the part where I got back to kayaking (a bit)
Another early start, we were woken up at 8 and left at 8:30. Back to kayaking again (for a change), today was Guil day. I have finally lost the dunce shirt! Hannah had forgotten her helmet. Most people (except Will, Kelvin and Izi) left from the start (the Upper-upper Guil). The river was really low and had several rocks about. Although I scraped a few I didn’t go in. Right at the end of the upper-upper there was a weir, which we all had to get off for. I hit a further rock at the start of the eddy which almost tipped me over, but a late executed low brace saved me. The dunce shirt changed hands again, for Rachel had left the bung out of her boat (apparently not her fault). Priyanka, Emily and I were to paddle no further, but the rest carried on with the more complex upper Guil. After that a few experienced ones successfully paddled some of the more complex parts of the river (Château Queras and the Triple Step).
Dinner this evening was my group conducting a barbecue. Like the last barbecue, this was followed by a bonfire.
|Alice in flames. Almost.|
|Southampton, Birmingham and Aberystwyth joined us to make extra conversation.|
Delayed start to this morning in order to let people clear their hangovers, or faff. The original plan was to paddle the Onde, then the Gyr, then the Gyronde.
|Kelvin, Emily and I went on an adventure and found a waterfall instead of paddling.|
Most people paddled the Onde, but there was a fair amount of carnage due to low levels which put many people off the original plan. We returned to the campsite and rethought the plan over lunch.
The new plan was to go to Briançon and either go on the river or chillax in the spa. The thought of warm water for a change appealed to me, but a fair few just stayed at the campsite for the afternoon. The 4,70€ fee was worth it, just for the hot shower. Somehow I managed to do something to my shoulder while swimming, I don’t know how!
Last day of paddling today! It was raining. The plan was to do Briançon gorge for whoever wanted, then everyone paddle Pyrelles. I didn’t do the gorge, and am glad because of all the carnage that happened. The 30 minute route took the groups 2 and a half hours due to people swimming and boats being difficult to recover. By the time I got on at Pyrelles, the rain had gone. Iwan’s line was great all until the very last bit; he went left of a rock where I could only go right, then I approached another rock with 2 waves either side. I went right and sideways into the wave, and fell in. The water was deep enough to roll, but my attempt was poor so I had to swim out. Not quite how I wanted the last river to end…
We went shopping for supplies in the afternoon. After that Ralex, Hannah, Alice and I definitely didn’t go and get pizza and eat it at the Fournel without anyone else knowing.
The evening saw most of us getting very drunk. Various students were given awards – Will got ‘Most entertaining drunk’. We socialised with the other unis that were staying at the campsite, which was good fun. One of the guys, possibly from Birmingham, decided in his drunken state that it would be a good idea to swim down the slalom course on his own in the dark; an idea which would have been dunceworthy, let alone deadly. Me and a couple others from Birmingham helped him get away from the edge of the water.
Somehow I think the 6am wake up is going to be a bad idea…