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Wednesday, 3 June 2009


In about September time, a few of my friends and I started planning a eurotrip kayaking holiday. The idea was to drive round the different paddling play spots of europe, and even run a few rivers. Well as time went on, pretty much everyone who wanted to do it had pulled out, leaving just me and one of my friends. Since a long holiday with two people would have been a bit boring we decided to do a weeks playboating in Lyon, south of France. In the week leading up to my trip I had everything sorted, car ready, clothes packed, eurotunnel booked, money changed. Then someone recommended i look into the Alps for a couple of days. Although I wasn't convinced initially I looked into day trips that could be done from Lyon. I finally settled on a day at Bourg-Saint-Maurice, a French International Slalom Site. More about that later.

On sunday morning we got on the road, the photo above is taken on the road in France, by midday temperatures were well into the high twenties, and when we arrived in Lyon after ten hours of driving on the wrong side of the road the temperature was well into the thirties.

The next morning after getting some food at the supermarket we headed over to Hawaii Sur Rhone. It turns out that this particular feature is quite easy to see from the motorway, but very difficult to get to, as navigating around the complicated French road system is hard. Finally we arrived, we walked over and had a look the size of the wave. BIG. There were a few other people there, so we got changed and jumped on. After talking to the people who were on the water we discovered that the water levels weren't great. What this meant was that the wave was extremely difficult to catch. With this in mind we persevered and although we didn't get loads of rides, but each one we did get was both amazing and terrifying. The speed down the wave was amazing, each hard carve lead to a bounce which threw your whole boat into the air.

Thats me, that little spec in the middle.

After a couple of days here we got up early and headed to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. I wasn't really sure what to expect when we got there, so when I arrived to see around a 900M of lovely Alpine river, made even better by the fact that no-one else was there. We spent the day playing on the river, the water was FREEZING, darn glacial melt.

A pic of Bourg (Taken from French website Eauxvives.org, as i can't find the one we took)

The next day we were back in Lyon, unfortunately for my paddling buddy Andy he swam, on his first ride of the day. As if this wasn't enough he lost his paddle. With no spare that put an end to his paddling week. Unluckily for me I pulled a muscle soon after. With no solution in sight we did the student thing. We bought some really really cheap wine and got extremely drunk.

The following day we felt a little worse for wear, so decided to wander around town.

Now i'm back in the UK and back at work. I had a good holiday, if you've got one coming up good luck, I hope it goes well. Be safe.

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