So good we did it twice!

Trip Start Sep 04, 2011
Trip End Sep 30, 2011

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Where I stayed
Domaine du Verdon

Flag of France  , Provence,
Sunday, September 11, 2011

We decided to travel the route round the gorge again, this time the other way around and with an extended tour to Lac d'Esparron which is part of the Lower Gorges. This is a mediaeval village complete with castle and is known especially for its water sports on the lake. We passed through many little villages on the way there, all equally delightful and full of old charm as only Provence can get away with it’s rickety old buildings that look ready for demolition until you look closely and read that it has been carefully preserved to look authentic including peeling paint on the shutters.

Quinson is even described as a prehistoric and a religious centre because of St. Maxime, born up the road in Riez, and is another place of pilgrimage in these parts.  Apparently the elderly are taken to the little chapel on a tractor if they are unable to climb the steep hill!!!!  We stopped briefly at Les Salles –sur-Verdon a re-build in the old style village which was wiped out when the lake of Saint Croix was flooded. The old fountain was retrieved from the sunken village and rebuilt in the town square; all the streets have the same names as the original village.  The lakeside is a popular place for picnics…so we did, but under shade of an oak tree as it was boiling hot too hot to walk on the beach and too rocky.

The most amazing part of the journey was the Pont de l’Artuby, not for the bridge itself which is interesting as far as bridges go, but for the bungee-jumping from it 182m into the narrow gorge below. Apparently the highest bridge in Europe for bungee jumping, I had to hold Colin back from having a go, besides which they say the tradition of bungee jumping comes from an initiation ceremony for young men who are passing into adulthood. Yes Colin, that means not you!  Crazy people, I felt dizzy just watching them!

Reaching Esparron by mid afternoon we were ready for a cool dip in the lake and it was ideal for swimming. We enjoyed a good hours swim before returning back to camp before dark.  A fabulous day!
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