“There is Venice, and then there is us!” »Not very proud of the route he offers, the sports educator Antoine Martin welcomes this Tuesday in Pont-Audemer (Eure) six members of the Angot family, coming from Seine-Maritime, for whom the adventure of” urban canoeing ” is a great first. “We have already done sports descents in Ardèche, breathes the mother, Stéphanie, while putting on her life jacket. But it was in nature, with beautiful landscapes, waterfalls. Here we are in narrow passages, we hope that we will not sink into the walls of houses! “
For thirty years, the Beavers rislois paddle school, located on the banks of the Norman Risle river, has been taking visitors on multiple canoe routes, around Pont-Audemer. From June to the end of August, for ten euros, canoeists now have the possibility of entering the city center and its network of canals.
A course of about an hour, away from rapids and intensive hikes, carried out in a boat which is certainly original but which allows us to reconnect with an old local tradition: “Long ago, the inhabitants of the city moved by boat, never if only for the transport of goods, ”recalls Antoine Martin.
Timber-framed houses, old tannery, old latrines and laundries … the ride offered in partnership with the tourist office of Pont-Audemer reveals a city with architecture relatively spared from the battles of the Second World War. “We also discover the world of homes today by passing by the windows, near the pontoons of the houses. With a little luck, looking up, you can see a resident fishing from the third floor of his building! “
Less than thirty minutes from the sea, the “Norman Venice”, a very residential city, dreams today of becoming a tourist destination. The town hall therefore “prepared the ground” for this new adventure by maintaining and restoring certain crossing points for boats.
For now, practitioners must respect the barrier gestures of the profession: for example, keep a distance from a boat between each paddler. Once back at the nautical base, at the end of the course, they can nevertheless allow themselves a refreshing swim.