Rand'eau nue à la Roudoule
With the main French holidays in full swing and a few injuries, a slightly smaller group than usual gathered at Castagniers on Sunday morning. Our destination for the day was the Gorges of La Roudoule, a beautiful valley immediately above Puget Theniers. After about an hour's drive we parked our cars in a shady spot beside the river, it was 18 degrees(!) far too cold to Aqua Rando without a wetsuit, let alone in the nude. So we changed the programme and set off for a quick hike up the hillside while the valley warmed up. After 50 metres of walking we were in full sun and able to shed our clothes which then stayed in the bag all day. We climbed up above a deserted village and took a short allez retour along a track with beautiful views of the Roudoule valley and the village below, returning to the river at the appointed hour for lunch. This cannot be varied in France, eating after 12.30 is strictly forbidden!
After a leisurely lunch of wine, pissaladiere, salad, cake and coffee we set off upstream. The river is quite beautiful as it meanders along the edge of the limestone and red rock vein that one regularly encounters in the valleys. We climbed out of the river after about 90 minutes, much to the amusement of a Swiss couple who happened to pick that moment to drive the only car we saw all day along the track on which we emerged. We returned to our start point along the road from whence three of our number explored downstream whilst two remained sunbathing by the bridge.
A few canyoners passed by, all at ease with our dress code and happy to chat for a while. There is little better than being at one with nature. This was an international group, 2 French, 1 Belgian and 2 British and the atmosphere was convivial as always. At the end of the day, we returned to Puget Theniers for a "Bon biere" and discussions of our next trip.
JP does a great job of leading the Randonneurs Nu de Provence, we explore beautiful corners of the country, always nude, always relaxed and always welcoming of anyone who wishes to join us.
J&D St Paul de Vence