A Day at the Lac de Saint-Cassien Provence

Hi Peeps, the superheroes are concerned about the accent on Batman so they’ve decided on a change of persona, Spiderman is the superhero of choice. This is to confuse the bad guys and also give their climbing skills a run-out and it also coincides with the fact that their Mum has bought them Spiderman ‘T’ shirts. Oh, we’re also going to a big lake with pedalos complete with facilities to slip into the water from 10 rungs up.

Soo, two types of Spiderman skills will be necessary, one to mount the slide followed by the extended skills of the water-spider that can walk on water, build nests underwater, swim a bit and break surface to breathe again. We’re actually only practicing the latter two but maybe in the future…well you never know.

We want to be at the lake by 10 to avoid the crowds and that’s what we do. As we turn into the dirt track and car park we note a space that’s clearly been allocated for us – result!

Our two arachnids are ready with a blow-up boat that needs a lot of air and Lewis is full of that!

We have a couple of noodles (long spindly expanded polystyrene thingies) and various buckets and spades. All essential tools for world peace and digging holes in sand, well, in this case, shale. Now here is an important point, when excavating shale you’ll find that when you empty a bucket of water into the channels that you’ve carefully scooped out using the plastic spade and supplemented with a plastic rake, the water remains on the surface and follows the channel (the rake is recommended, I had a go with it and it’s really effective – it’s not as good as a JCB you understand but as a hand-tool it’s highly recommended).

You won’t find this level of water retention on a beach, you’re lucky to see a bit of scum and bubbles as the water is absorbed into the sand and believe me I’m well experienced due to childhood adventures with church trips to Redcar and Saltburn, see previous posts. The other important thing at a lake is that there is no tide, well at this one anyway so alternative ways of feeding the channels are not possible, it has to be with the bucket. So channels are excavated and rivulets created using said buckets for a period of several minutes then, as a superhero’s spell of attention diminishes other things to occupy lively minds are explored and the long noodle thingies are launched.

We have taken the precaution to book two sessions on ArachniPedalos and spend a good hour in the water before our turn on them.

At 1100 we’re ready. Our superheroes prefer to present themselves in bathing gear so as to not attract attention. They take a low profile sitting behind the slide and allowing us to pedal and steer the device to the centre of the lake where there’s plenty of room for the training sessions to begin. Lewis makes the first run to enable the superheroes to assess the angle of entry to the water and gauge the length of the slide to achieve the maximum length of skim on the water surface.

As 14 stone hits the water there isn’t much of a skim and I follow with an additional half stone and only serve to prove the surface tension of the water’s not up to our expectations.

ArachniHarry follows and does manage a little more in terms of skim but sinks after only a few feet.  He retrieves the situation with a spectacular swim to the rear of the ArichniPedalo and climbs on for the next test. In the meantime following some initial reluctance ArachniZak makes his first run from a test position about half way up the chute and following a countdown from three is released a little early to avoid further anxiety that is becoming obvious due to the extended wait. Dad grabs him as he hovers above the water following his exit from the slide and skims him across a bow wave that’s been helpfully provided by a passing pedalo. Not an enhanced ArachniPedalo, just a bog standard one but helpful all the same.

If it had been an enhanced one like ours, it would have left a bow wave like a Severn Tidal Wave but what we have is sufficient for skimming a superhero and there is plenty of snot, coughing and laughter to prove it. Within minutes both superheroes are swimming around the boat, climbing the ladder and sliding down the chute like, err, well like spiders sliding down the sides of a bath only the outcome isn’t as grim.

There are numerous repeats of this as sliding, swimming, diving, jumping and most importantly, climbing back on the boat skills are perfected. Once all this is done Mum gently towels down shivering superheroes and Spiderman embossed tops are donned as swimming gear is jettisoned.

Another excellent day and two fully trained parents are proudly helping a couple of exhausted arachnid superheroes into the ArachniPeugeot 2008 ready for an evening swim in the pool followed by another on-call for requests by world leaders to dispatch evil global meanies.

Enjoy the snaps…G..x

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