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Canoeing Adventure in the Dordogne with Canoë Raid

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Three hours, one canoe, and one highly uncoordinated couple, made for one of the best days I've had in France yet. Mathieu and I decided yesterday to venture out to the Dordogne region and have an active afternoon. We rented with Canoē Raid for 30 euros from 1pm-6pm. They were extremely helpful in sending us on the less beaten path, avoiding the hundreds of tourists canoeing down the river. Money worth spent!

The Dordogne region is surrounded by gorgeous castles just about everywhere. You have the option to take various routes, however the most popular is between Cenac and Beynac in which you canoe/kayak past the châteaux. Mathieu and I witnessed the overcrowding and decided to go elsewhere, because it didn't look enjoyable.
Photo Credit: http://www.a-canoe-raid.com
Canoë Raid sent us on our way between Groléjac and Cénac, a path more surrounded by nature, and far less cramped. Here is the map to give you and idea of where we went. Along this you are able to see Château de Montfort (a medieval piece of heaven in my eyes).
I'll be honest I've never canoed in my life. This in itself, along with the fact I'm in France surrounded by gorgeous scenery, was indeed an experience. Mathieu could have killed me for the first hour though, in which I had zero idea how to keep the canoe straight. We laughed so hard when we ended up going face first into the bushes.
The coolest thing about this path are the mini caves. Several people have occupied them, being that there are carvings all over. We had to take a cave photo shoot for Mathieu's 5-year-old nephew, whom he is determined to tell that Batman lives here.
After getting stuck numerous times due to my paddling we took it one step further, we completely flipped over. How did this happen? I still don't know. Numerous bruises, cuts, and grunts later, we managed to get the water out of the canoe and continue on. Mathieu has not a scratch, but a vivid memory of me flailing my arms in the air.
Back to Château de Montfort. It is BREATHTAKING! I recommend you put "Canoeing by castles," on your bucketlist, or better yet "Canoeing the Dordogne." Between this, the beautiful homes, caves, and nature in general, it's amazing. There are also mini beaches to stop at to have a picnic or restaurants to dine at. The only thing we missed (due to my stearing) was the rope swings! So do it for me please.

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