Day 7 – Gorge Du Verdon

We spent yesterday drying out, on the beach, arguing, going to the supermarket, arguing and making endless meals and snacks for the hungry herd.  Wednesday (Day 5) it rained and thundered most of the morning and drizzled all afternoon but yesterday and today it has been sunny and warm – bliss.  We decided to take the canoe and the kids up to the lake at the end of the Gorge Du Verdon, it is about 2 hour drive.

As we were driving and just about to take the twisty, undulating road along the Gorge, I noticed the fuel light come on – no matter we pulled over for a toilet stop and noticed a fuel station around the bend and this is where it all started.  Firstly the public loo’s were the hole in the ground type which I’ve never really discovered the best technique for, so I squatted and as I was going about my business the door burst open and a fit, young, male cyclist stood in the door looking at me squatting above the hole.  He apologised and swiftly moved on, I merely died at the thought of what had just happened.  The petrol station had long since closed down and was just a bare shell of its former self and so we trudged on to the next town Aguines in search of fuel.

View from a bridge on the road to Aguines

As the fuel light flashed and warned I tried coasting (burned clutch smell) and rolling out of gear (burned brakes smell) and even rocking the car to help it up the hills in order to preserve fuel.  We arrived at Aguines with the fuel indicator below the red but no petrol station.  We asked and were told 6km to Salles, I had no option but to roll all the way down to Salles whereupon we all cheered when we saw the little fuel station.  Then the Gasoile said Ferme but the lady showed us the lorry pump, then the credit card wouldn’t work but luckily debit card did (hello overdraft fees) but eventually situation reverted to normal as we found a beach by the lake in Salles.  We all sat down for a picnic beneath the shade of a tree looking out over the most tourquoise looking lake I have ever seen, truly stunning.

We enjoyed a lovely few hours splashing about on the lake, Bruce and I even went for a row in the canoe (Bruce rowed, I laid back in the sun).  We had a couple of coffees at the beach shack which we loved as it was playing some great reggae and we could chill out in the laid back chairs.  There were people around but it didn’t feel crowded or packed, perfect!  If you don’t happen to have your own canoe there are boats (manual) of all descriptions to hire from small sailing boats to Herbie pedaloes with slides.  Incredibly parking is free along the beaches in Salles, in fact I haven’t found a car park yet in France that you have to pay for.

We headed back for the coast after what had been an interesting and eventually pleasant day, I have wanted to visit the Gorges for years and never mad it, I’m glad I have now.



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