Book ASAP as bank holiday fligts rocket closer to the date!
A wonderful active long bank holiday weekend in the second world largest canyon of the world, just after Colorado.
We will be canyoning and aqua hiking/rafting (depending on water levels), hanging out at the Lac du Saint Croix and visiting a lovely Provencal village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. if we have time and energy we will also do some hiking. And on the way back we will stop over in Nice.
As it is the May bank holiday, flights prices are rising as we speak. Please make sure that you book as soon as possible to get a good price. (flights are not included in the price and you will have to book them once your place on the trip is confirmed and deposit paid)
I have booked the following flights: Easy jet flights from London Gatwick to Nice and back:
Friday 3 May 2013 at 9:05 - 12:05 (£35.99).
Coming back on Monday (bank holiday) at 21:55 - 22:50 (£50.04).
As the price for these flights above have now gone up, there is an alternative, also with Easy Jet:
London Luton to Nice
Dep Fri, 03 May 2013 08:40
Arr Fri, 03 May 2013 11:45
Flight 2121 for £56.49
Nice to London Luton
- Dep Mon, 06 May 2013 21:45
- Arr Mon, 06 May 2013 22:50
- Flight 2128 for £56.53
Feel free to book either, we will meet in Nice in front of the security exit. My number is 07832297917 in case you are having any problems. Ka-mei has already booked the Luton option.
As public transport in France is not great, we will then rent cars. I have just checked online and we can get a car for all 4 days for around £100. (The car rental price is not included)
I am happy to be one of the drivers, and we have just had another one step up, so please don't worry and book, even if you don't have a driving licence. The drive from Nice to the lake is about 2 hours.
We should arrive at the lake at about 3-4pm.
Plan of the trip:
Canyoning (traveling in canyon using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling (rapelling), and/or swimming)
Aqua hiking (combine different activities as you will practice at the same time swimming, running and jumping) or rafting, depending on the leve of water in the canyon.
Moustiers-Ste-Marie - a lovely Provancal village that sits below a narrow notch at the base of rocky cliffs.
Lac du Sainte - Croix - we will spend some time enjoying the turquoise waters of the lake.
If we have time and energy after all that we may do some hiking.
On the way back we will stop over in Niece and have a look around town.
Price: Early bird special includes the accomodation and the activities and it is £210. There are 3 sigle rooms available and they will be allocated on the first come frist served basis at a premium of £25.
The early bird price is only available if you pay your deposit by the end of January and pay the full price by 15 March. Otherwise the full price is £250 and needs to be paid 2 weeks before the trip the latest.
Details for payment are available following this link: http://www.adventureclub.biz/pages/Bank_account/.
There are also 4 sofa beds that willl be allocated to the ones that book last.
What's not included in the price:
Transport and food but we can use self catering facilities to make things cheaper.
We will be staying in mobil-homes
Wooden houses with terrace 2 rooms (one with double bed, one with 2 single beds) and a living room with a sofa bed.
Lac du Sainte - Croix
This magnificant turquoise lake was formed by the Barrage (dam) de Ste. Croix, built on the Verdon river in 1975. Sitting on the open Plateau de Valensole and the Grand Plan de Canjuers, the lake has a feeling of endless space and light. At the northeastern end of the lake at the Pont du Galetas, an almost invisible slot in the mountain wall hides the deep, wild Verdon canyon where the rushing green waters of the river enter the lake.
The lake is about 10 km long and about 3 km wide at the widest part.
There is easy acces to much of the
lake shore, and pleanty of beaches and picnic areas. The size of the lake, however, accepts the summer visitors without a feeling of overcrowding its vast surface.
Plan of the trip
Friday 3 May
9:05 - 12:05 Flight to France.
It may be that we meet at the gate before our flight, but it may be busy and a bit tricky so I would rather set the meeting point after the flight. But I will be wearing my T-shirt on the plane as well, so please feel free to find me there. If you are not flying with us from Gatwick, please post a comment in the comments section so that we can see at a glance.
12:05 - 13:05 Going through security and picking up luggage. If you get through it earlier and can sort out the cars in the meantime, please feel free to do so.
13 :00– 13 :15 I will wait for you at the exit from the secure zone and I will be wearing a Curious Kat’s T-shirt so that you can easily recognise me.
If you get held up somewhere for some reason, please make sure you contact me by then. I will have a French phone number in my iPhone so the English will not be working, it will be posted in the comments as soon as I get it.
13:15 – 16:00 Driving to Domaine du petit lac. Google says that it only takes 2hours 15 minutes, but I’m sure it will be a bit longer than that. And remember that if you take the highways you have to pay. I think we should take the route through Castellane, but I will discuss with our main driver. When you arrive, please wait for us in the café. I will sort out the check in and come and pick you up.
16:00 – 17:00 Refreshing and getting ready for the evening.
17:00 – 17:15 Driving up to Moustiers Sainte Marie for some sightseeing and a dinner. We will be only a couple of minutes away from this amazing village, supposedly the most picturesque in the entire region.
17:15 till late Moustiers Sainte Marie
19:00 I have booked a table at Restaurant La Treille Muscate. It's got excellent reviews and looks really lovely in the photos.
Address: Place Eglise, 04360 Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, France Phone:+33 4 92 74 64 31. http://www.restaurant-latreillemuscate.com/
Maybe we could buy some beers somewhere on the way as well so that we can have a drink back at the camping afterwards, so that the drivers can have some alcohol as well.
Saturday 4 May
No rush in the morning, you guys can have a sleep in and breakfast at your leisure and check out the camp site facilities.
10:00 – 11 :15 Driving to Castellane.
11:15 – 14:00 Having a look around the town and having some lunch there.
12:00 - I have reserved a table for lunch at La Creperie Le Mur D'Abeilles (D955 - La route du Grand Canyon | Rougon, 04120 Castellane, France, 04 92 83 76 33) - it's a little pancake place with a breath taking view.
14:00 Meeting the rafting instructors at a pool parking in the centre of Castellane.
14:30 Rafting – there are high level of water in the canyon and all this rainy weather we have been through recently is actually good news for rafting.
Bring swimsuit and sport shoes. Full dry suits, neoprene socks, life jackets, helmets, and paddles will be provided.
After rafting we could maybe grab some things from a shop in the town to do a BBQ at the camping. The BBQs are provided at the camp site, but we would have to get our own coal. Depending on the weather of course – otherwise we can grab dinner in town and just have drinks in the evening at the camp-site.
19:00 I reserved a table, just in case, at La Main a la Pate. 2 Fontaine, 04120 Castellane, France, [masked].
Free time in the evening.
Sunday 5 May
8:30 – 9:30 Driving to Palud Sur Verdon (should be about 45 min drive, but we will also need to find the place and park the cars).
9:30 Meeting the instructors at the taxis parking in La Palud Sur Verdon and doing the Adventure Path. This is a replacement activity as the level of water is too high for canyoning. We can only do it if it’s dry though so if it rains we can do another day of rafting.
Now, regarding this activity, I understand that it is something similar to the Go Ape tree top adventure, but on the rocks. So there will be some rope bridges, zip wire and not sure what the pappels are, but I think it’s a typo for rappels and they mean abseiling.
So bring some sportswear, everything else will be provided. It will be a dry route so no swimming suits needed.
13:00 we should be done with the activity. We can have some food in Palud sure Verdon.
13:30 Le Tilleul - I hope you like crepes as this is again a small creperie. It's booked for us for 1:30pm. Rue Grande, 04120 La Palud sur Verdon, France, 0033492730871. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g635586-d2210492-Reviews-Le_Tilleul-La_Palud_sur_Verdon_Alpes_de_Haute_Provence_Provence.html
I will leave this afternoon free as there are a lot of options in the area and it all depends on how tired we will be. If we have energy we can go for a walk to see the lake du criox. And again, it depends on the weather, if it's nice and sunny it would be great to hang out there, but if it's raining maybe it will be better to stay in Palud sur Verdon?
I am bringing my hiking maps as well, so we could look into doing a hike in the area.
I haven't booked a dinner anywhere as I was not sure where will we end up dinner time - we will decide on the day and maybe eat at the cafe at the camp-site?
Monday 6 May
10:00 Check out. Make sure that you clean up your mobil homes, or else there will be an extra charge.
Ideally we should leave the campsite promptly at 10am so that we have enough time in Nice.
We can either park in the centre (which I am guessing will be quite expensive), or else find free parking in the north part of town and take tramway into the city. I am getting more details on this option, but it will be for you to decide and it will depend on how much time we have.
I think it's about 3 hours drive. We should arrive at 1pm. Please make sure you get your lunch sorted - either on the way, or when you arrive in Nice.
We will meet the guide at 14:30. (I will let you know the exact location tomorrow, just waiting for them to suggest it. We will spend 3.5 hours with them and finish the tour at 18:00 at a restaurant.
18:00 - 19:00 dinner, restaurant TBC
19:00 - 20:00 getting to the airport.
20:00 - 21:55 - time to check in. I know it's a lot of time to hang out at the airport, but some of us may need a longer time due to visas, so it's always best to air on the side of caution here. But of course, you are adults and you can re-calculate and change times in your cars, please remember it is your own responsibility to catch your plane. :)
21:55 - 22:50 flight back