An open-air show at sunset
19h La Malène
A little training in calm water, a way of mastering standing/kneeling positions, current/counter-current, paddle handling and… balance on this sort of large surfboard.
Neoprene wetsuit, helmet, vest, water shoes, all set! Off we go for an 8km descent, between La Malène and the Cirque des Baumes.
Although it’s not yet dark, the Gorges du Tarn are already deserted, ours and ours alone! We glide quietly along the emerald, translucent waters of the Tarn. This is a great opportunity to spot butterworts, carnivorous plants ready to swallow midges and other insects. Bon appétit ladies!
With the shadows of the setting sun, it’s easy to understand the names given by our ancestors to the rocks sculpted by nature! This activity is in fact an open-air spectacle.
And there… a beaver family! I almost fall off the paddle, so excited. While the adults quickly disappear underwater, a young beaver accepts my presence at his side. #So cute, you just want to give him a big hug! Long hunted, beavers are now protected and make their living in the Gorges du Tarn, de la Jonte et de la Dourbie…
It’s time to light the paddle… a magical moment.
I feel like I’m back in the last century, when the caussenards fished here with luminades. At the bow of their flat-bottomed boats, they burned a few pieces of wood. The light attracted trout and other fish, which the fisherman harpooned. No engine on these boats, just a wooden pole to navigate… like me tonight, standing on my paddle! And my luminous paddle lets me glimpse chevennes, barbels, trouts, but for the pleasure of the eyes only!
The nocturnal fauna begins its day: toads, herons, owls, crickets are here. A nocturnal awakening of nature, and an awakening of the senses for me! The landmarks are quite different at night, and the sound of the little rapids seems to me more like Niagara Falls!
The crossing of the Détroits des Gorges du Tarn is impressive… of beauty and thrills. The Grotte de la Momie guards the entrance and sets the mood… the canyon is narrow, the cliffs seem immense, the slightest sound echoes, bats graze us benevolently.
At the exit of the Détroits, the Gorges du Tarn open up to reveal a magnificent starry sky.
Navigation could be done by moonlight.
Did you know that we’re in an International Starry Sky Reserve? the 2nd largest in France, the 13th largest in the world.