Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, Gorges de l'Ardèche

Trip to Ardèche - Day2:

The second day, we headed straight out to Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, the starting point of the Gorges de l'Ardèche. Gorges de l'Ardèche is a magnificent 30 km long canyon sculpted into the limestone by the river Ardèche. Yes, rivers can be sculptors too, although they work a lot slower than Rodin. Vallon-Pont-d'Arc is a natural limestone bridge that spans the river. Here are some pics I took of the arch. The red flecks at the bottom are tourists in canoes. You can hire a canoe here and paddle down the river to the end of the gorge. Lots of fun, no doubt, for the canoeists. But they spoil it for chaps like me who want to take photos of 'Nature in all her pristine glory'.

After taking a dekko at the arch, you drive down the highway that snakes along the top of the gorge (or if you're the energetic type, you hike or bike), pausing dutifully at the various 'viewing spots' along the way. Blandine, as you can imagine if you've been following these posts, was white-faced at the thought of driving on the edge of the gorge. But she gritted her teeth, stared fixedly at the road, and went through it. If I don't do this, she muttered, you'll spend your life complaining I took you to see the Gorge de l'Ardèche, and didn't let you see it. Once more, I offered weakly to drive, but she ignored me. Actually, it wasn't so bad. It was a wide road and we were on the side away from the edge. Most of the time you couldn't even see the gorge for the trees, except at the viewing spots. Still, I was duly impressed.

Here are some pics I took of the gorge at one of the viewing points. Yes, still the pesky red flecks of the canoeists at the bottom.

Another spectacular bend in the river, at the last viewing spot on the route... Three photos panning left-to-right. Too bad I don't have one of those fish-eye lens thingies... or am I thinking of a telephoto lens? Anyhow, this was the best I could do with this spectacular scene with my poor little mini iPad.

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