River swimming - ideas?

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River swimming - ideas?

by kalba » Tue May 25, 2010 2:36 pm

I wonder if Networkers can help me put together a resource list of places where it's possible to swim in rivers in Ariege? I'm particularly interested in the area west of Foix, but all suggestions welcome, even over in the (to me) far flung east of the department!

Thanks everybody ...

Kalba
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Re: River swimming - ideas?

by Cambajou09 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:51 pm

I'd be really really careful about swimming in rivers. Many years ago I swam in the Gave de Pau (OK, not in Ariege, but not that far away, over in Pyrenees-Atlantiques). It was a beautiful, hot summer day, the sky was blue, and so was the Gave.
... Well, it was blue because it was heavily polluted with copper sulphate- turns water a glorious Mediterranean hue, apparently. I was very ill for a couple of weeks afterwards (doctors, hospitals, outpatients, that kind of thing).
If you know what you're jumping into, great! If not, it's a mug's game.

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Re: River swimming - ideas?

by kalba » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:09 pm

Gosh Cambajou, that sound really unpleasant. Never had anything like that happen to me, fortunately, and I'm an addict. I shall henceforth be wary of blue rivers! Not that I've ever seen one, so far.

But .... does anyone have any tips about where to swim?? At my own risk, of course ;)
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Re: River swimming - ideas?

by Vivienne » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:54 pm

I'm interested in this too, Kalba, we're river-swimmers from way back, (in NZ, not London :D ) and have seen a few signs on the rivers in the mountains saying be careful as the hydro dams could release a torrent at any time and you'll get swept away never to be seen again (eek!). It would be good to have some ideas of where's safe and whether this is health and safety gone mad and it's all actually fine.

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Re: River swimming - ideas?

by arthur45 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:28 pm

The signs posted by the electricity authorities about possible surge are for real, even if it happens very very seldom ..... once is enough. The most tragic example that I know of - soon after we moved to France - was near Grenoble in 1995 and a class of children on a field trip was engulfed. Six children and one teacher died, and I think it is still toiling its way through the courts. Of course the point only applies where there is an upstream dam ..... so check it out thoroughly.

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Re: River swimming - ideas?

by moussec » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:14 pm

There's a small swimming spot just outside Seix, in the river Salat on the road to Ustou. It's visible from the road but the access is from Seix along a muddy donkey track on the other bank (accessed from a small wooded car park on the south side of the village). I recently swam there and was amazed how deep it was - couldn't touch the bottom, so not for the fainthearted, but it's beautifully clear. The rocks are smooth and great for drying off afterwards. It's fairly popular and everyone I asked said that it was safe, although there's a pull from the current.
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