All posts by jptouchard

Pre- Christmas paddle

Pre-Christmas paddle with Quorn Activity Club . All the photos by Dave Morris












The Dordogne River

We wanted to canoe  a small part of the Dordogne River.  We contacted “Canoë Randonnee Dordogne”which operates a canoe rental outfit, the owner a very nice man came to collect us from our campsite and took  us upriver to Cenac.  We then  paddled  back to Beynac which is a pleasant  22 km. The first part of the journey was very pretty from Carsac to Cénac. It was so scenic with a lot wild life, huge over hanging cliffs towering above us as we passed by. After a nice lunch we continued from Cénac to Beynac a very picturesque area with lots of castles high on top of the cliffs, which were hauntingly beautiful. Along the river we passed by the very picturesque village of La Roque Gageac.

We had a very enjoyable day and the weather was good during our stay. We would recommend this part of the Dordogne, great walks and beautiful villages.

We based ourselves at the Camping Le Capeyrou a very nice campsite with friendly management and staff which is situated between the town Sarlat la Canéda and La Roque Gageac. The site offer’s a great view of the Medieval Castle of  Beynac

We hired the kit from :



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Le Château de Castelnaud is a medieval fortress, overlooking the Dordogne River. It was erected to face its rival, the Château de Beynac.


DSC_0217.JPGBeynac Castle is dating back to the Middle Ages, perched on top of a limestone cliff; dominating the town and the north bank of the Dordogne River. The Castle was build in the 12th century by the barons of Beynac. The chateau has been used in a lot of films, the Story of Joan of Arc directed by Luc Besson, Les Visiteurs directed by Jean- Marie Poiré to name but a few.

Mark Rainsley New Guide of The River Wye

The new guide by Mark Rainsley is out and available from Pesda Press.


The Wye is one of Britain’s finest canoe and kayak touring rivers, and offers something for every kind of paddler. This guide provides the information and advice you need to plan your own Wye journey, whether it’s a single or multi-day trip, whitewater or sedate cruising.The author, Mark Rainsley, has divided the river into 15 sections, which are described in detail with distances, grades, access points and campsites. These sections can be paddled as single day trips, or combined into multi-day adventures, and there are suggested itineraries for both whitewater and touring expeditions that range from 3 to 5 days. To help you plan your journey there is advice on equipment, safety and access, as well as information on wildlife, culture and landscape.Mark Rainsley has spent three decades using paddlesport as a means of avoiding adulthood and responsibility. He is a fanatical paddler who has descended challenging whitewater rivers worldwide, and who is dedicated to exploring every nook and cranny of the UK’s coast by sea kayak. He created the UK Rivers and UK Sea Kayak websites and is a prolific contributor to paddlesport magazines and other media. Mark authored the Pesda Press guidebook South West Sea Kayaking, and has contributed to other Pesda titles such as English Whitewater and South East England and Channel Islands Sea Kayaking.

Meeting Susannah and Tim Gent

We were having a great time at The Bushcraft Show but the highlight for us was meeting Susannah and Tim Gent. Having read many of his articles over the years and recently his book ” Canoe Camping” which I reviewed in Amazon (see previous post for details). The book and the articles have been a source of inspirations and escape to the outdoors.image5.JPG

We were amazed by Tim skills a built a canoe using hazel wood branches and some waterproof fabric.



In the afternoon he tested his craft.




A great book by Tim Gent

10981546_781827648564587_6424764252884411280_nAbout the Author
Tim has enjoyed an outdoor life since childhood. Farming, forestry conservation and archaeology have provided a working environment in the field, and contributed to an understanding of the land. While paddling and camping from Arctic Scandinavia to the Mediterranean coast, he has absorbed more, and hopes he is still learning. Writing about fishing, hillwalking, canoeing and camping, Tim had the first of many magazine articles published in 1990. He is a regular contributor to Canoe and Kayak UK and Bushcraft and Survival Skills, and often writes for The Great Outdoors. When not camping, Tim and Susannah live in Devon, England, midway between Dartmoor and the Atlantic coast.

A  review of the book I wrote  on Amazon:
This book by Tim & Susannah Gent is a must if you are like us interested in trying out open canoeing and love the outdoors. My wife and I are complete novices, even though we are both keen seakayakers. The book is well written and full of good advice and beautiful photos. One can see that Tim is genuine about his love of nature and his wish to get people on the water and experience camping in beautiful places. Since reading this book we have been out canoeing with a local club and really loved it. Thanks Tim for passing on your enthusiasm for a beautiful way of exploring the countryside.

A great evening on the River Soar

We enjoyed a great paddle last week with Quorn Activity Club on the River Soar, a very nice loop with only a couple of portage. Our first longish trip in an open canoe. It was very pleasant and Beryl loved it, such a warm evening, beautiful landscape and great people. Also, getting used to a village way of life.

Thanks to Quorn Activity Centre for making us so welcome.