Posted: 20th October 2018
GOLD PANNING YES WE DID, and what a fabulous 3 and a half hours that was.
I usually succumb to loss of interest very quickly (adult adhd ?) however, this gold panning afternoon had me hooked. We met up with Phillipe at the tourist office in Le Chalard and followed our guide down to the river where there was plenty of available parking and the excitement was definitely starting to build.
Our guide had started his working life in the local gold mine (now closed) and shared some insights and interesting facts about gold and where you can find it. It was around this time it hit me I was going to get wet (I’m a bit slow on the details when I’m fired up with enthusiasm) and my wellies were at home, thankfully Phillipe had a boot full of ‘stuff’ and we were all provided with wet water shoes, shovels pans and sieves and then we headed into the river, after a short demonstration (love short demonstrations) we were given our equipment and we picked our spot, it’s an activity absolutely perfect for a couple but if you fancy giving it a go on your own I wholeheartedly recommend it.
We sieved our shovels and then panned using the water from the river and I couldn’t believe the 3 hours disappeared in what felt like 20 minutes, Phillipe took over the final pan cache each time and pointed out what was left in our pan and then gave us our haul most of us came away with gold everyone came away with garnets and I had a zirconia too, Phillipe called the small black chips titanium but I’m not convinced he didn’t mean hematite, and it wasn't a teeny translation hiccup.
There is obviously no way we achieved a couple of euros worth of stash, but it was a totally absorbing way to spend the afternoon, in fact so much so that we’re now going to include this in one of our packages and I for one can’t wait to go again and very probably explore other rivers after all we’re “in the area for gold”