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Pensioners in Corsica

Pensioners in Corsica


Postby gaffr » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:50 am

Date walked: 17/06/2007

Distance: 190 km

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Over the last three years we have escaped from the dampness and the biting insects in Scotland to travel over a few of the Corsican long distance routes that can be found on this beautiful island. The first one that we followed was the traverse of the mountain chain from North to South the 'fra li monti' or through the mountains which seems a good description of the terrain to be followed. Commencing at Calinzana and finishing at Conca which is close to the town of Porto Vecchio.
We returned a year later to repeat the first three stages of the GR20 and to visit Monti Cintu before walking the Mare a Mare northern route from the East coast through to the West coast of the island. This year we came back to walk from North to South this time linking three of the routes, Mare e Monti, Mare e Monti sud and Mare a Mare sud. Again starting at Calinzana and finishing in Porto Vecchio. The GR20 walk is on high terrain rarely dropping below 900 metres once started. The other routes although sometimes reaching higher ground on a few days visit some of the quietest, at times almost deserted hamlets, in interesting areas of the island.
The images are not up the quality of many taht I have looked at on this site but I hope that they will give a flavour of the walking. Also bear in mind that the images may look as if they will appear in the reverse order to the route followed? Refuge d'Orto di a Piobbu is the first image in the sequence of events.
I don't know how it will all turn out .....it's my first attempt at doing this!
Attachments
68 camp at Asinau.JPG
Camping at Asinao refuge area Bavella behind.
37 The  bergerie shop at Tollla.JPG
The wee Bergerie shop at Tolla on the way to l'Onda refuge.
Looking back to the breche de Capitellu.JPG
Looking back to the Bocca a e Porta.
19 Down into the cirque de la solitude.JPG
Entering the Cirque de la Solitude from Col Perdu or as now the Bocca Tumasginesca.
9  day two leaving d'Orto di a Piobbu.JPG
Leaving d'Ortu di u Piobbu heading for Carozzu refuge.
Last edited by gaffr on Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby Hewin » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:37 pm

That looks like an awesome place :D
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby Hewin » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:44 pm

In fact after googling that I reckon I might have to take a trip over there in 2010 :lol:
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby susanmyatt » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:44 pm

Cracking post, thanks :D
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby john923 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:31 pm

Some nice pics there, gaffr. We've not done any point-to-point walking like you but have done several day hikes in fantastic scenery in our four trips to Corsica so very interesting to read what you've done.
Our last trip was three years ago at Whitsun and I remember doing the Tavignano gorge walk near Corte and swimming in rock pools on one day followed by wading knee-deep through snow on the way to Lac Capitello the following day.
Here are a couple of pics from that trip. Would certainly recommend Corsica to all but you need to go later in the year if you want to tackle the GR20 in full.
Lac di Melo from Lac Capitello.
2006_0611Corsica0040.JPG
Lac di Melo

And here's what looks like a really challenging inn pin, a view taken on the GR20 south of Bavella.
2006_0611Corsica0116.JPG
Interesting pinnacle


Cheers, john.
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby gaffr » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:42 pm

Hello John,
Corsica is a place that you can't quite get out of your system. You'll of course be aware that every turn you make on the island something new and exciting unfolds! You just have to keep going back in spite of the buses not turning up on time and the general scruffiness of many of the places. On our way home along the East coast this year we camped at Moriani and woke up in the morning to see the islands of Monte Cristo and Elba appearing from the haze. Thanks for the reminder of lac du Melo I think that we could see a wee hut the that area from the ridge? Also some folks came up a gully from that area and continued along the ridge. The Tavignano valley was on our route to reach the camping at the refuge Sega when travelling on the MM Nord. There is another valley parallel to Tavignano the Restonica valley that we have not been into. The words of N Crane ( from his great European journey) kept coming back to me when walking in Corsica....when talking of old paths...carrying in their sunken beds the footfalls of long gone travellers... or something near to those words. The Island was settled in ancient times and has been battered and bruised by every tom dick and harry. The area of Cucurruzu above Levie, we found when coming down from the high ground at Jallicu this summer, was settled I think some 8,000 years ago.
We have gone prior to the island in June but this year we arrived on the 17th of May and found there to be much snow at the higher levels.....maybe not the best time for GR20.
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby mountain coward » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:33 am

Great pics - as a mountain coward I think the GR20 is way beyond me but, ever since I flew over it on the way back from Africa, I've been fascinated by a country so completely covered by mountains - it's just wall to wall. I'm hoping to go there sometime with a friend of mine who has far more experience and has done quite a bit there...
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby gaffr » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:17 am

Hello MC,
Get stuck in ....going to Corsica is a real experience.....you should have no problems there with your vast experience of the hills in GB. At several places during the traverse contact can be made with folks still practicing the transhumance method of rearing animals. The cheeses and dried meats that they have for sale are superb. Costs can be kept down if you carry tent and camping stuff.
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby Paul Webster » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:36 am

Hmmm yes Coriscan cheese... Corsican charcuterie.... :thumbup: :P

I agree, Corsica is a fabulous walking destination (and an eating one too). We did bits of the GR20 combined with the Tra Mare i Monti and also another coastal walk in the southwest - and I'll admit to wimping out of one section of scrambling on the GR20 - we pondered it for a while, waited for two other walkers to come along and had almost built up courage when the other walkers very nearly fell off. I'll dig out a few pics when I get home - as you have already shown, the scenery is absolutely stunning. Still I think the GR20 may be MC's worst nightmare to be honest :shock: - but plenty of other superb walks.
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby Hewin » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:34 pm

I've been looking into this and I'm considering attempting the whole route in a week (or less) in 2010. It looks awesome and will be great training for the alps later in the year.
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby mountain coward » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:08 am

I'll definitely be going at some stage... and I'll definitely be avoiding the GR20 - my very experienced friend says it's no place for me! :) Will be great to be able to camp and not take loadsa food 'cos you can buy it off the locals! Won't be for a few years though I don't think...

BTW - your name, 'Gaffr' is nearly Welsh for goat (gafr) - is that deliberate?
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby gaffr » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:17 am

hello hewin,
You must be a very quick walker!....Corsican traverse in a week. Maybe you are a mountain runner but even speedy mountain runners would surely be slowed down by pack carrying.....but with modern very light equipment...who knows. We found, that when carrying big sacks with the camping stuff, the recommended 15 days for the 15 stages was about right for us. We even had a day without the packs when we took the wee train down to Ajaccio for a swim in the salt water and for some shopping. But we are septuagenarians and sexagenarians and time takes it's toll! If you are pressed for time why not split the journey into two visits...one of nine days for the northern part and another of six for the southern section of the route.

Reply to MC....yes old goat I may well be but maybe an adopted Scottish one. But probably Welsh ones are ok too.
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby mountain coward » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:31 pm

gaffr wrote:But we are septuagenarians and sexagenarians and time takes it's toll!


So will all that sex! :lol: ... Ah - you mean one of you is 60+ - sorry :lol:

gaffr wrote:Reply to MC....yes old goat I may well be but maybe an adopted Scottish one. But probably Welsh ones are ok too.


All the wild ones I've met around the Nant Peris quarries are anyway! The only bad one I know is in the field next door to my house and she's so evil I call her 'Mendes' - she will charge and butt anything which moves and frequently corners and kills the hens!
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby gaffr » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:08 am

hello MC,
Gosh......Mendes turns up in Wales...we thought that it, and the goat/ram thing, all went under the silts of the Nile delta according to Herodotus....just shows you that you can't trust historians!
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Re: Pensioners in Corsica

Postby Hewin » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:43 pm

gaffr wrote:hello hewin,
You must be a very quick walker!....Corsican traverse in a week. Maybe you are a mountain runner but even speedy mountain runners would surely be slowed down by pack carrying.....but with modern very light equipment...who knows. We found, that when carrying big sacks with the camping stuff, the recommended 15 days for the 15 stages was about right for us. We even had a day without the packs when we took the wee train down to Ajaccio for a swim in the salt water and for some shopping. But we are septuagenarians and sexagenarians and time takes it's toll! If you are pressed for time why not split the journey into two visits...one of nine days for the northern part and another of six for the southern section of the route.

Reply to MC....yes old goat I may well be but maybe an adopted Scottish one. But probably Welsh ones are ok too.


I'm not in a rush, just like a challenge :D
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