Wednesday September 7, 2005, 75 km (47 miles) – Total so far: 9,579 km (5,952 miles)
‘Le Deluge!’ – this was the headline in the local paper this afternoon. Yesterday it rained and rained and rained. Our tent eventually gave up and filled with water, so we packed up our soggy gear and upgraded to a small caravan with a leaky awning, but it was dry in the van itself. According to the newspaper we were lucky… several local campsites had to be evacuated by the Fire Service.
The Ardèche itself must have risen by over one meter – where yesterday there were beaches, the river now reaches the bushes. It would be exciting to get back into a canoe and have another crack at the rapids, but probably very dangerous too.
Today we cycled towards our next gorge – the Tarn. Tonight we’re staying in a cheap hotel about 29 km short of the Tarn valley. It was a lovely ride today, especially in the valley between Bessèges and Chambon, with a little river carving its own mini-gorge – we must come back in two million years and see how it got on.