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Day 01 Friday: Espace Eau Vive de l’Isle de la Serre by John C

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2023 LCC Alpine Paddling Holiday

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Waiting for the Channel Tunnel Express

This year was to be a four-campsite, more mobile trip with paddlers dropping at different times. We started at Isle de Serre White Water Centre which is just outside Lyon and breaks up the journey out. We then moved on to l’Argentière la Bessée to camp next to the Durance River. There is a lake and White Water course next door. At the end of the first week, some of the group headed home to return to work while the rest moved over to the Ubaye Valley and camped at the end of the Racecourse section. We then moved up to Bourg St Maurice and camped at the Isere campsite to paddle the river Isere and its tributaries. The trip is a holiday with late starts and sunny conditions. The paddling is from easy grade 2 to harder grade 4+ and you can choose which paddles you join in on. This trip is ideal for families with plenty of additional activities to try.

Stuart T, Roy Mc, Keith S, Sara B, Kurt T, Mark G, Sarah G, Fiona B, Helen S, Mike F, Cameron F, John C, Kirk W, Harry R, Gerrie W, Steve H, Chris M, Oliver M, Lewis D, Mark B, Marianne B.

The annual Alps Holiday has been running every year since 2008.

Day 01 Friday: Espace Eau Vive de l’Isle de la Serre by John C

This year’s Alps trip started a day early for 4 lucky paddlers as we headed down “sarf ” to catch the Chunnel. We stopped off at a Morrisons ( other supermarkets are available) and bought a couple of Onion strings and a couple of bérets as we all know the French customs officers have a great sense of humour.

On arrival at the Chunnel young Harry, ” an Alps virgin with a big safe boat! ” was in the passenger seat to hand over all our documents. After chatting to his mate in the next booth just to delay the Anglais the cheese-eating surrender 🐒 gave us our passports back.

We met up with Roy and Mark and except for a small incident at the toll booth,  where Mark went in front to slow the A team down without a tag and was then advised he had to back out and use another lane. The rest of the trip was as normal with a few stops for food and a stretch. 

We arrived at L`Isle de la Serre White Water early afternoon and set up on the campsite which provided excellent camping, showers, a café and several restaurants in the nearby town. This year as, an added bonus, we were provided with an ex-army tent complete with two fridges and a stove as a base.

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This year as, an added bonus, we were provided with an ex-army tent complete with two fridges and a stove as a base.,5.4241953,14z

The Whitewater Stadium offers a 600m long river course. It recreates a succession of more or less technical passages: rollers, surf waves surf, smooth waves, eddies and technical breakouts etc.

Its major advantages:

– Its S-shaped layout reduces portages.

– Its water quality is good, located upstream from the great Lyon metropolis.

Once we had set up the camp, we unloaded our boats to paddle on the course. There were a few pointed boats (apparently the course is being used as a warm-up for the 2024 Olympics. There were a few meaty holes to negotiate but our favourite was the steep ramp into a boiling mass of white.

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Mark B paddling over the large drop on L`Isle de la Serre White Water Course

About half-way down the course are 4 stoppers or play waves depending on your point of view. We honed our skills here for a while before retiring to our new army tent.

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Roy McHale on L`Isle de la Serre White Water Course

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