Travel Timehop

Travel Timehop #6 – the Ardeche

Delving through holidays snaps from years gone by has become a weekly treat. Especially when the weather outside is quite literally freezing and I come across photos from some of the amazing summer holidays we’ve enjoyed.

I can’t quite believe that this week’s Travel Timehop comes from nearly a decade ago, when Mr Tin Box and I spent a month travelling around Europe with a tent.

Tin Box Traveller and Mr TB standing by a river holding canoe paddles

When are we time-hopping to?

2006 was the year Mr TB joined the Royal Navy and before he did we decided to take a European road trip. We booked a month off work, packed our tent, camping supplies and general clobber in the back of our Hyundai Getz, and hit the road.

Where in the world?

Our trip took us all the way to Barcelona and back stopping in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France before we arrived in Spain. Our return journey was more direct, up the middle of France with a final stop off in Paris.

We had a vague idea of where we wanted to be and when, but didn’t book into many campsites ahead of our arrival. Instead we picked a town, city or region and headed to the nearest tourist information centre for a list of places where we could pitch our tent for a few days at a time. Unless camping in Europe has changed much in the past 10 years, I can highly recommend this approach if you want to add an element of adventure to what is actually a very tame ‘back-packing experience’.

One of the most scenic places we stayed was the Gorges d’Ardeche in France. The Ardeche river runs through Europe’s largest natural canyon and the area is a honeycomb of ancient caves. Some house the most significant prehistoric art ever discovered as well as amazing displays of stalagmites and stalactites.

Timehop moment

We stayed on a campsite in the Gorge for about three days, during which time we visited caves and booked ourselves a canoe trip down river.

This week’s Timehop moment photo was taken half way through our voyage.

The ride was generally easy going but there were some light rapids to contend with along the way. Thank goodness Mr TB has lots of upper body strength as I was a bit of a spare part when it came to navigating the rougher waters!

While Mr TB was dodging rocks (ha!), I had the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the canyon. There really is no better way to see it than from the water.

Since visiting the Gorge d’Ardeche we make a point of trying to find a cave or boat trip of some sort during our holidays. However, I don’t think many have been able to rival it.

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