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French Alps 2019 paddling trip – Day 11a Upper Durance by Michael O`Rourke

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French Alps 2019 paddling trip

Day 11a Upper Durance by Michael O`Rourke

A leisurely depart time of 10am saw us waving goodbye to John on his journey to see his sister/avoid the minibus journey home. We were re-joined by Stuart and Dom after their previous day’s excursion to the Chateau Queryas in Dom’s hire car the Duck Egg. A modest 10 Euro entry fee into the Chateau seemed well worth it according to reports. Stuart was back to minibus door duty, it’s a tough job, but it’s no opening and closing window job. Stuart had to be remined on self occasions how to perform his duties.

We separated into our now usual groups and headed on down the Upper Durance. Keen to avoid the leaders swimming curse Ian quickly delegated the leader’s role to Stuart, Myself and Hannah and we all took it in turn to lead. We took turns leading, selecting eddies to break into, hand signalling and the choo, choo full steam ahead signal with added sound effects.

Hannah carefully navigated us through a set of rapids that curved around and under a bridge with a very colourful skull graffiti piece on then inside. After this we were given free reign to break in and out of as many eddies as we could. We let the other groups run though, not because we were slow, but we thought the more people there were down the bottom, the more people there would be to help us with our boats. Kirk`s group were also doing a significant amount of eddying and it seemed to become a race who could make it down the river the slowest.

Eventually we all made it down to the bottom and once again Ian had avoided the leaders swimming curse. Unfortunately, we had left it so long, no one was around to help us with our boats, so we hauled them up the now well-trodden slope in anticipations of the minibuses arrival to take us to our next river

More photographs……….