When we arrived at the location near the large sunflower field shown below, it turned out we had reserved at Canoe Le Tourbillon in Collias. So Rick Steves, if you are reading this, please correct your guide book and change your recommendation to Canoe Le Tourbillon, we highly recommend, or put in the right number for Collias Canoe.
|Sunflower field near Collias France|
The Gardon River starts in the Cévennes mountain range and flows 133 kilometers before it runs into the Rhône River at Comps, north of Beaucaire. It is the namesake of the department of Gard. Several of its tributaries are also called Gardon.
It is about 8 kilometers from the starting point in Collias to the pick up point north of the Pont du Gard. It takes about one and one-half hours to get to the Pont du Gard and another 30 minutes to go from there to the pick up point.
According to the Canoe Le Tourbillon website, the Gardon River is a calm river (degree of difficulty 1 on a scale of 6), so the canoe trip is suitable for everybody able to swim. The law requires that children be at least 6 years of age to go in the canoe.
They have a number of different types of boats, kayaks for 1 or 2 people, and canoes for 2, 3 or 4 people. You can protect your personal items with you in watertight containers that you take with you in your boat.
|Shirley and I resting in our canoe|
If you go, bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a pair of shoes that you can wear in the water. If you have to push your boat because of low water levels, you will be happy to have shoes because those stones are quite uncomfortable.
|Daughter Tricia with family and Shirley|
I wanted to record our trip down the Gardon River but was afraid to risk my Nikon or mobile phone to do this. I was afraid Shirley and I would figure out a way to turn our canoe over. For some reason I figured that Tricia riding with Alvin would be less likely to tip over and lose my mobile phone, my hunch was right, and she shot all of the pictures of our trip down the Gardon River.
|First view of the Pont du Gard|
Check out the sights as we approach and pass under the Pont du Gard.
|Closer view of the Pont du Gard|
|Taking a break while granddaughter Avery enjoys the cool Gardon River|
|Water tight container tied to canoe|
|Approaching the Pont du Gard|
|Getting ready to pass under Pont du Gard|
|Under Pont du Gard|
|Close up of Pont du Gard showing three levels|
|Young people on rocks under Pont du Gard|
|Doing flips off the rocks into the Gardon River|
|Diving into the Gardon River|
We made it back to the pick up point on time and headed home. We had not done a water visit to the Pont du Gard before but were very happy we did it and will do it again I'm sure.
Canoë Le Tourbillon
3 Chemin du Gardon