River Deep Mountain High

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July 1st 2013
Published: August 29th 2017
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Geo: 44.8398, 1.14208

Woke up to a beautiful sunny day, so we headed for the Dordogne River to book a kayak. We hired two person kayaks and entered the river upstream from La Roque Gageac. We had one and three quarter hours to paddle nine kilometres to Chateau des Milandes, where we were to be picked up by van and taken back to our car. The next pick up was some two hours later and we wanted to visit Castle Beynac in the afternoon.

The kayak trip was luckily downstream, although the river is not fast moving. During the paddle, we passed five castles/chateau, and the kayak trip was definitely one of the highlights of the holiday. The river water was warm and the slow journey enabled lot of photo opportunities. They gave us a sealed container for our gear.

Kim had responsibility for the photos, and I did most of the paddling. Darrol and Chloe teamed up for the paddle, and Liz and Ciara made up the other team. We just made the van pick up with minutes to spare. This paddle normally takes a minimum of two hours, so we did well to make the pick up.

After enjoying a great lunch in Beynac, we headed for Castle Beynac which sits high above the town and the River Dordogne.

Ch√Ęteau de Beynac was built in the 12th century by the barons of Beynac (one of the four baronies of Perigord) to close the valley. The sheer cliff face being sufficient to discourage any assault from that side, the defences were built up on the plateau: double crenellated walls, double moats, one of which was a deepened natural ravine and a double barbican.

At the time of the Hundred Years War, the fortress at Beynac was in French hands. The Dordogne was the border between France and England. Not far away, on the opposite bank of the river, the Chateau de Castelnaud was held by the English. Beynac castle has served as a location for several films, and Beynac township below the castle was the setting for part of the film Chocolat.

Chateu des Milandes where we paddled the kayaks to, was formerly owned by the American burlesque singer of the 1930's, Josephine Baker.

My back and shoulders are feeling the pinch tonight from the kayak paddling and probably the rock climbing yesterday.

We are off to Spain tomorrow.

Additional photos below
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4th July 2013

This looks like a much nicer past time.

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