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How easy is it canoe the 25km stretch for a beginner?

United Kingdom
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81 posts
34 reviews
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How easy is it canoe the 25km stretch for a beginner?

Looking at various canoeing websites in the ardeche, there seems to be a short 7km stretch, starting at Vallon and ending in Chames and a longer 25km one starting at Chames and ending at Sauze. The tourist office said there are 5 big rapids on that stretch but its easy. The canoe companies are also saying the canoeing down there is easy. I don't have canoeing experience. I have done white water rafting with guides and kayaking in a lake, also with a guide. I am a bit daunted by the prospect of having to go on our own, without a guide. Does anybody know how bad these rapids are down the 25km stretch? Are they easy enough for a beginner take up or would you say just do the baby 7km one?

United Kingdom
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81 posts
34 reviews
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1. Re: How easy is it canoe the 25km stretch for a beginner?

Surprising not to get any responses, but having gone and done this, I thought I'll at least update this posting for future queries. On reaching the Ardeche, we asked our host of the B&B if it was safe to do this 25km stretch and if the rapids were easy or not. He said the rapids would be dangerous if they were there and at this time of the year, with all the dry summer weather, the river was pretty low. In the 25 km stretch there only 3 designated rapids, of which there is only one which is worth worrying about, called the "Dente Noire". Thankfully the French Pompiers have put a Sapeur station in the river itself. There was even someone standing in the middle of the river instructing people which direction to take. Despite that, we went the wrong way and got stuck. The lifeguard walked over to us and turned our canoe around and then we somehow made it through the rapid without flipping over. During the spring, I'm told, the situation is much different in the river.

Ottawa, Canada
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1,020 posts
24 reviews
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2. Re: How easy is it canoe the 25km stretch for a beginner?

Thanks for the review; it sounds like you had a good time, despite the fast water. I'm sure it will be of interest to someone who is researching water sports.

By way of a suggestion, there is a forum dedicated to "outdoors/adventure travel". That may be a good place for this type of thread.

Happy paddling!

3. Re: How easy is it canoe the 25km stretch for a beginner?

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Removed on: 3:17 am, March 08, 2011