Lac de Sainte-Croix with canyoning and rafting/aqua hiking - French adventure

  • May 3, 2013 · 7:00 AM

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

Total: £113.02

 

Feel free to book either, we will meet in Nice in front of the security exit. My number is[masked] 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.

Accommodation:

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:[masked] 31. http://www.restaurant-latreillemuscate.com/

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g445024-d1205042-Reviews-Restaurant_Bistrot_provencal_La_Treille_Muscate-Moustiers_Sainte_Marie_Alpes_de_H.html

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,[masked]) - it's a little pancake place with a breath taking view.

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g677532-d1836605-Reviews-La_Creperie_Le_Mur_D_Abeilles-Castellane_Alpes_de_Haute_Provence_Provence.html

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, 0492836116.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Sophie

    Great activities in a sumptuous region of France. To be discovered absolutely

    May 8, 2013

  • Kat

    May 8, 2013

  • Alice

    Good views, good food and good company. Nice meeting everyone. Cheers!

    May 7, 2013

  • Kat

    May 7, 2013

  • Kat

    May 7, 2013

  • Kat

    Hi guys, I have uploaded some photos already, please feel free to tag yourselves: https://www.facebook.com/media/s...­

    May 7, 2013

  • Kat

    It was awesome guys! :) thank you for making it so amazing! Xxx

    May 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi guys, we wont be joining you for the tour. See you on the plane. Ciao. Alex

    May 6, 2013

  • Kat

    Ok, we are ready to do the activity now. Contact us if you can, we keep calling but are not getting through.

    May 5, 2013

  • Kat

    Hey guys, so I thought I would re-cap all the information, let's start with the cars: Car 1:
    Richard (confident) + Kat
    Ka mei
    Melwyn

    Car 2:
    Sophie (confident)+ Vinod (not confident)
    Maciej
    Lucy

    Car 3:
    Alex (confident) + Michal (not confident)
    Perihan
    Alice

    Car 4:
    Rohan (confident) + Mez (not confident)
    Axelle
    Liat

    April 30, 2013

    • Kat

      Alex + Perihan + Liat + Lucy

      May 3, 2013

    • Kat

      Sophie + Michal + Axelle + Alice

      May 3, 2013

  • Sophie

    Hi Michael, Axelle and Alice. I've arrived. My mobile number [masked] 9883. You'll need the international code to text me. Sorting out the car at Term 2. Meet you all just after.
    Kat,
    Which term are we meeting at? I arrived at term 1 but not sure where you're landing

    May 3, 2013

    • Vinod

      Hi. I'm at terminal 1. Coming to terminal 2 now.

      May 3, 2013

    • Sophie

      Cool! I'm at the car rental centre for Europcar. Car sorted. Waiting in the lobby, on the left hand side

      May 3, 2013

  • Maciej D.

    I managed to miss my flight, i'll try to get there today somehow

    May 3, 2013

  • ka-mei

    Heya im at nice airport waiting at the arrivals bit

    May 3, 2013

  • Perihan

    hi all, so who is actually flying out of Luton?

    May 2, 2013

  • Rohan

    If anyone wants to car share to Gatwick, i will be driving there from NW London (Golders Green) if you are reasonably close by and want a ride please get in touch

    April 20, 2013

    • Rohan

      Hi Sophie, I'm on the 9 o clock Easyjet flight from Gatwick, and am planning on being at the airport by 7 so will be leaving from Golders Green around 5.45. Are you close by?

      May 2, 2013

    • Melwyn F.

      Rohan, how many you got on your car currently?

      May 2, 2013

  • Kat

    My french number is: 0033 630835141. I will be available on this mobile from the moment we land. Please don't leave messages or send texts though as I will not have credit until I top up, so I will not be able to get back to you.

    May 2, 2013

  • Prashant

    found out about this meetup a bit late, anyone selling their spot?

    April 27, 2013

    • Leila K.

      I'm selling my spot if ur interested

      May 1, 2013

    • Kat

      I'm afraid it is too late now, the RSVPS are closed now and I wouldn't have a chance to process any changes.

      May 2, 2013

  • Kat

    I have heard back from the Petit Lac and a towel and bed sheets are not included, but can be rented for 6.5 (bedsheets) and 2 (towel)

    1 · May 1, 2013

    • Kat

      Blankets and pillows are provided.

      May 1, 2013

    • Sophie

      Good to know ahead :)

      May 1, 2013

  • Kat

    And finally, please make sure that you have travel insurance that covers you for the types of sports we will be doing. A normal European cover will not be suitable.
    EHIC would also e useful, but they are not always accepted: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/He...­

    1 · May 1, 2013

  • Kat

    One more thing, my seat on the plane is 17D. Please find me. :)

    1 · May 1, 2013

  • Axelle

    Thanks for all the info! I'll be flying from Luton.

    May 1, 2013

  • Kat

    Oh, and I'm not sure if I explained before why we are staying at the camping? It is part of the cultural experience. France has a long standing tradition of camping holidays and in the summer, this is where it all happens! If you get a chance, have a look at this movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt047­...
    It's a nice comedy, but I'm not sure if it's available in English.

    1 · May 1, 2013

  • Kat

    I have updated the description of the evbent with the first draft of the programme. I will amend it slightly before we travel. Please make sure you print out a copy of it before you travel.

    1 · April 30, 2013

  • Kat

    We will be staying at Domaine du Petit Lac (on google map this is here: http://goo.gl/maps/b0H3c­). I think it is a bit too long way for the cars to follow one another (of course we can try that, but I usually find it difficult and I think people might be more comfortable driving at their own speed and to stop at their leisure) so please make sure you have a map in each car and one of you can pilot the driver along the way.

    April 30, 2013

  • Kat

    I have emailed the place we are staying at to ask them about the towels and bed linen. I'm waiting to hear back. Their website doesn't mention it, I have only found out that the guests can use laundry machines and dryers (3.50 €) and borrow books, games and irons.

    There is wifi acces at the reception and at the bar as well as a coin-operated computer with internet access at the reception. There is A a Ha lake with a sand beach and a designated area for swimmers secured by a life-guard.

    A 6 Ha lake with a sand beach and a designated area for swimmers secured by a life-guard.

    there is also a cafe that serves hot and cold food, tennis courts, BBQ area and mini golf.

    1 · April 30, 2013

  • Kat

    Weather is unfortunatelly not the usual clear blue skies and the forecast is not amaizng. I guess the entire Europe was affected by this year's anomaly and it just is colder than the usual May... At the moment forecast says some clouds and 19/18 degrees on Friday and Saturday and rain and 19degrees on Sunday (although just 20% so we may still be lucky). Monday should be amazing, sunny and with clear skies, 20 degrees. But of course forecasts are not usually right, so please keep your fingers crossed. :)

    April 30, 2013

  • Kat

    The single rooms are taken by: Vinod, Perihan, Axelle and Kat. The sofas are left for: Liat, Alice, Lucy and Ka-Mei.
    I think it's best if we stay in the same groups in our little houses as it will just make it easy for the cars, but of course please feel free to swap as you wish.

    April 30, 2013

  • Kat

    I have also heard that not all of you received the updates regarding cars and the most recent one regarding the activities. I will look for the cars allocations tomorrow, but in the emantime, I'm reposting the one from last week: On another note I have some news on the levels of water and activites. I will send you a more detailed trip plan before we get there, but it will probably be by the end of the next week as I've got the trip to Bath tomorrow. But it seems that the levels will be quite high, which is good news for those of you up for rafting. They may be too high for canyoning and aqua hiking though, which means we may need to do soemthing else and the idea is to do something similar to GoApe. I have done a quick google translate for you so that you can be prepared in terms of what you need. 'I have new info for the weekend of 4/5 May we can offer:

    April 29, 2013

    • Kat

      Saturday-4:
      RAFTING: golf 2:30 on the Verdon.
      Go to 14h at the pool parking in the center CASTELLANE.
      From the campsite, count 1h15
      Bring swimsuit, sneakers
      We provide full drysuits, neoprene socks, lifejackets, helmets, paddles and instructors!

      Sunday-5:
      ADVENTURE PATH: air route, dry, Gorges du Verdon
      Pappels, rope bridge, zip ...
      Duration of activity: about 3 hours
      Depending on your convenience, go to 9:30 or 13h, the parking of
      taxis to bars in the village center of PALUD ON VERDON
      From the campsite, allow 45 minutes.
      Bring clothing and shoes
      We provide the rest of the equipment and of course the instructors!'

      April 29, 2013

  • Kat

    Hey guys, I will be sending more updates later this week - I have just been having a really hard time reconciling this trip - there has been a lot of wrong payments, a lot of late payments and all the checking, double checking and chasing has taken much more time than usual... and I'm still not done... So my apologies you have not received the detailed plan of the trip yet, I was going to do it tonight, but had to download all the bank acocunt and paypal details again and check and chase payments instead.

    April 29, 2013

  • Leila K.

    Unfortunately I'll be in NYC for work during this time. Really disappointed as I had purchased my to tickets.

    April 9, 2013

    • Curious K.

      Hi Leila, it's really sad that you will not be able to join us. Please feel free to approach the guys on waiting list. As long as the procedure in the link above is followed I will be happy to process the refund. You may even be able to sell your flight tickets - please check with the airlines how to go about it.

      April 20, 2013

  • Sophie

    Hi Kat, I can drive in France as Frenchy myself. I also always wanted to do canyoning! So do glad you're organising this break. Does £210 early bird for activities and accommodation solely? car rental, meals and flights are included, correct?

    January 6, 2013

    • Sophie

      Booking confirmed with arrival at 10:40 Nice time, return from 21:10 flight. So looking forward to it !!!! :-)

      1 · January 10, 2013

    • Sophie

      Car booked and all informed. Looking forward to it :)

      April 12, 2013

  • Leila K.

    Hi guys, I won't be able to make it to this as ill be in NYC for work. Will anyone like to purchase my spot? I've paid £50 deposit.

    April 8, 2013

  • Lucy

    Hi Kat, I've booked this and paid the deposit and booked the Gatwick flights, I've been looking at it for a while but just booked now! Exciting! Hope that's ok! I can drive and happy to be on a sofa bed. x

    1 · March 21, 2013

  • Rohan

    My car now booked, and passengers informed

    March 12, 2013

  • Yvonne

    sorry, clashed with a conference in Seattle ...

    February 21, 2013

  • Alice

    Easyjet via gatwick flights booked. Looking forward to this. Cheers.

    January 26, 2013

  • Axelle

    I have always wanted to go rafting but could never find people with the motivation/time/money! Very much looking forward to this.

    I've booked the[masked]am/[masked]pm via EasyJet for £111 -- if you don't know skyscanner.net, it's a very neat website to get the cheapest flights (prices vary quickly though so sometimes displayed prices are a bit inflated once you book, but never by over £10 in my experience)

    I don't drive but I speak French if that helps!

    1 · December 21, 2012

    • Kat

      Axelle, great to have you on board! :) I'm really looking forward to this trip! ;)

      December 21, 2012

    • Melwyn F.

      Skyscanner is a great find. Thanks Axelle, unfortunately I booked easyjet via gatwick without checking comments over here. Never mind looking forward to it impatiently. :)

      December 22, 2012

  • Richard

    Sounds fun!

    December 15, 2012

  • Perihan

    London Luton to Nice
    Dep Fri, 03 May[masked]:40
    Arr Fri, 03 May[masked]:45
    Flight[masked] Adult
    1 x £55.49

    Nice to London Luton
    Dep Mon, 06 May[masked]:45
    Arr Mon, 06 May[masked]:50
    Flight[masked] Adult
    1 x £56.54

    No Luggage
    Remember only one standard item of hand baggage per person is allowed.
    Pre-booking your luggage online is much cheaper than paying at the airport, and much less hassle. Add luggage
    Subtotal flights and options for all passengers:£112.03

    December 13, 2012

    • Kat

      perfect! And thank you for the update on the prices - they go up quite quickly because of bank holidays!

      December 13, 2012

  • Kat

    Hi guys, Ka-mei has let me know she has boked cheaper flights to France that arrive at more or less the same time in Nice (within a couple of minutes difference), so I thought I would share it with you! 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:

    Dep Fri, 03 May[masked]:40

    London Luton to Nice

    Arr Fri, 03 May[masked]:45

    Flight 2121 for £56.49
    Nice to London Luton

    Dep Mon, 06 May[masked]:45
    Arr Mon, 06 May[masked]:50
    Flight 2128 for £56.53
    Total: £113.02


    Feel free to book either, we will meet in Nice in front of the security exit. My number is[masked] in case you are having any problems. Thanks, Kat

    December 7, 2012

  • Kat

    Vinod has just book the first one of the single rooms.

    December 2, 2012

14 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Lac de Sainte-Croix with canyoning and rafting/aqua hiking - French adventure

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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