Inevitably, we hired kayaks and had a paddle down the Tarn.
The Tarn is a bit more racy than the Dordogne, with some shallower, fast flowing sections and lots of places to stop for swims and for the DBs to throw themselves into the river.
The scenery is amazing, the water beautifully clear and very inviting.
You can perhaps see, in the photograph above, that there are a lot of people congregated on the shingle bank downstream. They are examining a fast-flowing section which we had been told we should portage around. In fact, everybody seemed to be canoeing the little rapid quite successfully, so we did the same.
The section through Les Détroits was quite odd – suddenly we were fighting a strong, chilly head-on wind. Once the steep cliffs either side of the river receded the wind calmed down again.
Our route took as past the campsite (I think we stopped for ice-creams) and then past the mushroom rock, just after which there was another small fast-flowing section. Having successfully navigated that, I was upended by one of the flat-bottomed commercial passenger boats which ply the river with, it seems, almost complete disregard for the many canoeists also on the water. Somehow, I didn’t lose either my hat or my glasses, and only my pride was hurt, but I was infuriated and may have hurled a few choice Anglo-Saxon expletives after the departing boatman.
On a couple of occasions, later in the week, we drove a little down the valley to swim in the river in an area where a substantial rockfall in the past has left the river choked with huge boulders.
It was a fascinating spot. The water was very deep and, in places, where side-streams issued into the Tarn, the water was bracingly cold. Upstream, the water flowed through narrow little channels and forcing a way upstream became both challenging and exhausting, but highly enjoyable.
The big boulders in and by the river provided numerous opportunities for big jumps into the water. Even A joined in. Me too, but nothing too ambitious.
It was a great find, enlivened, for B at least, by the radar speed sign on the road above the river – which he found he could trigger by running along the road.