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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 4 - Gorges Du Verdon

On Day 4, we all woke up early, at around 7 am. After taking cup noddles as breakfast, we checked out the hotel and headed to our next destination. 

Husband had estimated the road journey would take at least 3 hours. So, we asked the boys to get some sleep in the car if possible. 

When I saw the signboard directed to Cannes, I felt a bit wasted that we would just passed by the city without stopping, just like we did on Monaco. To husband Cannes is nothing too special except its film festival, and a place for the rich and famous to spend lavishly. To me, actually it's the same too. haha...

The express way away from the cities.

Another good day, blue-sky & zero-cloud.

Vineyard along the road side, reminds me that France is indeed famous for its red wine.

For the first 1.5 hour, the journey was smooth. However,husband had started to face some problems as he doubt about one of Goggle Map's instruction somewhere out here.

He thought he had missed a junction, so we got to stop by the nearest village to ask for direction.

While waiting, the kids and I stood near this river to catch some fresh air.

The point is, we were not too sure if the villager had pointed us a right direction, cause they seem they seldom travel outbound that kind of person. Sigh...

Anyway, husband think we could still reach the destination no matter how, just a matter of distance & time. Well, I agree too. After all, the world is round.

What is this place?

The signboard didn't help at all....

Yo, so we just drove on, cause it's really too far away to turn back to the junction which we suspected we had missed.

When we saw this, we just got to have faith that we were still on the right track...

After some time driving uncertainly, husband stopped by this gas station to check for direction. When he came back, he shrugged again. This was the time when we really wish there is a GPS to guide us through.

Another 30 min driving, finally we could smell the destination is right in front of this track.

YES, we had found the place !!

The place we have been looking high and low for is called Gorges Du Verdon or Canyon Verdon, located in the midst of the region of Provence, Alps and the French Riviera.

The Verdon Canyon is considered the most beautiful canyon of Europe. Walked over by hikers from all over the world, the Verdon has become a natural site protected since 1990. This jewel enjoys the label " Grand Site de France".

Both Vincent & William felt dizzy when we finally reached the destination. By then, we have been sitting in the car for nearly 4 hours already.

Seeing the beautiful water right in front of us didn't elevate our mood instantly...

especially when we knew there was a long waiting list for the boat renting.

But we have traveled so far to this place, we couldn't just leave with empty hands.

The boys haven't gone back to their normal condition, and they didn't want to play in the water neither. So, we just sat under a shaded tree to wait for our turn to come.

One really got to wait that patiently... After waiting for 1.5 hours, finally, our number was called and it's our turn to get a boat.

Boarding the boat, at 1pm.

Out of many choices, we have rented an electric boat. Its operation is so easy that even a kid can manage it without difficulties.

Of course, we can choose to paddle the boat from time to time too. The most important thing to me was, we could pull up the canopy so that we won't get roasted.

Only when we sailed towards the canyon, we started to feel thrill about it.

Crossing the bridge which connects both of the sides of canyon.

To sons, this is called genuine boat-paddling, electric-boat doesn't count. Husband told them that he would bring us for this somewhere, 2 days later. So, we should just relax this time.

Whatever, I felt relax for I didn't need to move a finger sitting in the boat.

This foot-paddle boat looks very fun too. But we didn't have the confidence that we could ride on this for consecutive 2 hours or above, to complete the round trip.

Furthermore, the boat doesn't equipped with a canopy. Gosh, husband & I didn't want to get sun burn in just Day 4. There are still 6 days to go....

The Verdon Gorge is a river canyon that is often considered to be one of Europe's most beautiful. The river is about 25 km long and up to 700 m deep.

It was formed by the Verdon River, which is named after its starting turquoise-green color, one of the canyon's most distinguishing characteristics. Its turquoise-green color is associated with glacial sources and rock flour suspended in the water.

Due to its proximity to the French Riviera, the canyon is very popular with tourists, who drive around its rim, rent kayaks or hiking.

The Gorges du Verdon is continental Europe's largest canyon with steep vertical limestone cliffs of heights up to 600-700 m, which has attracted many professional rock climbers,amateur as well.

Captain of the boat.

There are always people who doesn't feel content in their comfort zone and go beyond it. For cautious people, we could only look up at them and wonder what has they discovered up there?

This beautiful canyon has attracted numerous tourist, especially during the summer period.That's the reason we have to wait for 1.5 hours before we could get a boat to sail out.

I could see that 90% of the tourists wore very little cloth to cover their body. Compared to them, we wore too much. And that made us look like a freak. Anyway, who care?

It's fun to see people jumping down from the cliff, like no body's business.

We have tried to coaxed the boys to jump from the cliff as well, but the answer was a definite NO (sigh). Actually this is understandable. If the parents didn't have the guts to lead the jump, how can we expect the kids to do their 1st jump like this?

Heavy traffic on the water...

A good looking waterfall lied somewhere along the river.

Emmm...so cool.

Electric boat is not allowed to go near the waterfall, to avoid short circuit.

We have been sailing for about 1 hour by then. Husband & William had shown the sign of restless, and they started to move around the little boat.

Well, as long as they won't make the boat sink, I didn't care either.

Actually, I wasn't sit very gracefully in the boat too.

Vincent is the only one who remain vigilance. We are so proud of you, son.
Later then we knew, he was worried that we may bump into an alligator.

Should we have sailed any longer, I'm not sure if I would strip off my clothes like them?

Also, if the sun wasn't that hot, we would really like to pool off the boat for a while, like they did...


About 70 minutes later, our boat had taken us to the end of the journey.

The water gets shallow. In order not to strand our boat, we got to turn back from here.

As time pass, the old man get even restless. He had threaten to throw his boy into the river.

Poor boy, the string of the canopy is his only savior.

End up, I got to bark them to cut it out.

The only person who watched out the way for us. I ought to give him a reward or something for his vigilance.

After some time, we let Vincent to take a rest. The new captain is not so vigilance though.

And we got to stop him from sailing to that rock with a "Don't Come Near" sign.

Hey, you are fired !!

We definitely need a more dedicated captain.

On the way back....

On the way back, finally the dad has gathered his strength to initiate a jump. 

Coaxing the boys to join him....

Vincent gave him a big NO, only William had made himself up to here...but he refused to jump anyway. 

Nice jump !!

Funny jump !!

Ok lah, I still gave him a big applause. 

bare-hand rock climbers...cause they think they won't die even though they fall.

From this angle, it looks like a horror face. 

Almost back to the original point,in 2 hours time.

The white clouds had made up a smiling face in the sky.

Looking back...

Approaching the jetty, safe and sound.

We left the place at around 4 pm.

Before leaving, it's our turn to stand on the bridge and look down this beautiful canyon.


I'm glad we have made it to this canyon, though all the bumps along the way. It's definitely worth all the driving....


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