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on 23 August 2002
When I heard Peter was publishing a guide to the 'easier' rivers of Southern France I was quite intrigued. As a kayaker who has paddled in Nepal and across Europe I was already familiar with Whitewater Nepal and the two Whitewater Europe guides to the Alps, all of which are excellent. I got a copy of Whitewater Massif Central hot off the press and with my wife and 3 year old daughter we headed south to an area we were not over familiar with.
The guide itself, as with others in the Whitewater series, is inspirational with anecdotes and sketches scattered here and there to whet your appetite, you can't help but being enthused by the time you get off the ferry.
The usual guide book preamble is actually worth reading with good advice on canoe hire and safety. The guide then describes in great detail ten rivers in the Massif central region, breaking each into several sections all with their own map and river description. The attention to detail in the river descriptions is very reassuring especially when paddling with little ones and for all of the rivers we paddled (Tarn, Allier, Ardeche and the Lot) we found the guide to be wholly accurate not only in the technical description but also in what to expect of the scenery.
The guide was not just a guide to the rivers, we also followed advice on the nicer towns or villages to stay in, preferable campsites and restaurants and most useful of all details of hire companies as we did not take our own canoe. For us the book was well thumbed by the end of our 3 week trip and had made the whole experience very slick.
The only couple of things I would reiterate (and these are mentioned in the guide) is that some hire companies do not operate fully until high season and will usually have restrictions as to the minimum age of children they allow.
All in all another winner.
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on 6 March 2003
The perfect guide to relaxed easy grade white water rivers of the massif central. Covers all the points from what to eat localy to portage advise with Slimes humour evident in his writing. If you are into Canadian boats with the family or solo the rivers in a modern playboat and leave the kids on the beach, there is no other guide to use. Buy it and use it every summer until the kids can paddle the Alps!
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on 5 February 2004
Some people might object to the style of the book, being written from a child-like point of view, but that suits the setting: it is all about where to go paddle with your (young) family. Mostly suited as well for canoes (canadian, open), or leasurely kayak, maybe. Good buy it was. Thanks
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on 12 June 2002
As the dodgy title suggests, this book is a departure from his previous guides. It's targetted at family touring on easy water. 'Fluffy' turns out to be a stuffed toy duck. There are even photos of (the horror, the horror...) small children on rivers. Anyone who has used one of Pete's guides before will only need to know that the book is up to the previous high standards; clearly explained and mapped guides, backed up by great photos and drawings. The region described looks siimply gorgeous. Those who, like myself, assumed that Southern France starts and finishes with the Ardeche River will be amazed to find descriptions of about 45 sections making up over 800 km of grade 1-3 paddling. There is plenty of useful logistical info on getting there, food and drink, climate etc. It's some years now since Pete produced 'White Water Nepal' and inspired loads of paddlers (like me) to get themselves out onto the amazing big water rivers there. It's no mean feat that Pete has somehow achieved the same effect for the Massif Central.
Mark Rainsley
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on 6 March 2003
The perfect guide to relaxed easy grade white water rivers of the massif central. Covers all the points from what to eat localy to portage advise with Slimes humour evident in his writing. If you are into Canadian boats with the family or solo the rivers in a modern playboat and leave the kids on the beach, there is no other guide to use. Buy it and use it every summer until the kids can paddle the Alps!
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on 2 August 2011
Having kayaked in France previously (The Alps) I fancied a change of pace and open canoeing seemed to be the way to go.

Myself & three friends (all under 24) decided that we would paddle the world famous Ardeche, we bought this book with the intention of spending a couple of days paddling and the rest of our two week holiday climbing or walking, how mistaken we were.

There is a huge amount of information in this book so much that we only spent two days climbing and the rest paddling.

Clear concise maps and detailed descriptions make finding the rivers easy. We even followed several of the campsite reccomendations which also turned out to be excellent.

We honestly could not have done without Fluffy and £15.00 is a tiny price to pay for how much it will improve your holiday.

Thanks Pete.

Adam Robson
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on 7 March 2015
Old copy but all it needed to be
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