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Between sea and mountain on the scented island.

Between sea and mountain on the scented island.

Postby gaffr » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:35 pm

Date walked: 21/05/2009

Distance: 200 km

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Calinzana has been the starting village of our two previous visits to Corsica. May this year found us in Calinzana once again.....it seems a fine place from which to begin an on foot journey. Placed a short distance from the port of Calvi and the same distance from a railway station with connections with Bastia, Corte and Ajaccio. The village, often invaded, is bruised and battered from skirmishes in past times. Todays invadors tend to carry large rucksacks on their backs and have a pointy pole strapped to each wrist seem to pass unnoticed by the folks of the village. I guess if you have seen or heard accounts of weapon carrying unwelcomes, walkers with poles may be considered fairly unthreatening. Camping is available at the municipal gite and is a hub for travellers either commencing a traverse, or the ones, noisy and celebrating, who have just completed a journey from the South. I rarely scratch the surface of places during a walking trip and I am quite happy to bummble along from place to place enjoying the landscape. Prodded by the guidebook writer, I walked for a few kilometres from the village, to search out the stone coffin of the lady martyr from Roman times on the island which was situated in a vault underneath the chapelle alter. A walker with an interest in ancient times would have great time on this island and would probably not reach the end of his chosen trail within the constraints of a normal holiday slot. Cucuruzzu, near Levie, towards the end of our journey this year, would keep the enthusiast busy for at least an entire day. Many of the camps this year were spent on the old terraces below the gites/hostels at the 'stage village'. We had one night under the stars at a col before the descent into the Fango valley and some others were spent in the gites where no camping was available.
2  the sarcophagus at Santa Restituda chapelle of Corsica's first christian martyr.jpg
The stone sarcophagus at Santa Restituda chapelle of Corsica's first christian martyr...a couple of kilometres from Calinzana.
4 heading out from Calinzana towards Bonifatu.jpg
Prior to this view of the old village. MF pehaps getting a bit confused...we had been twice to the left before this time it is a right turn.....the leg up to Piobbu on the 'fra li monti route' is a monster ....around 1,600 metres of ascent.
6 a member of Napoleon Bonaparte's family lived here.jpg
8 The Cormoran Voyageur gite at Girolata.jpg
Accommodation is available in this fine wee anchorage. Since it caters mainly for day trip tourists arriving in large numbers, by boat from Porto, I feel that this area has been somewhat defiled....all a bit tacky with
buildings from the current generation providing food and drink for the day trippers and anchoraged-up sailors....access only by boat or on foot...it could have all been a bit better?
The high ground between Galeria and Girolata 7.jpg
The high ground between Galeria and Girolata
]9 a backwards look to Girolata.jpg[/attachment]
9 The way up to the Capu di Curzu.jpg
The average uphill each day on the GR20 is some 800-900 metres on the other long distance routes the daily dose is more like on average 600-700 metres of ascent.
11 Ota below.jpg
The buildings in these old villages seem to grow out of the hillsides and are, most of them, 4-5 stories high...big families in the past?
12 heading for the Spelunca gorge from Ota.jpg
Following the fine old mule track linking Ota to Evisa this would be the connection from the lower levels to the summer pastures in the old days before the roads were built...tends to busy as a day trip for folks usually coming downhill from Evisa.
13 Goats in the shade.jpg
In Corsica free-ranging pigs, goats, sheep and cows are regulars in amongst the terrain...quite often grumpy when disturbed from sleep.
14 The Spelunca gorge.jpg
A fine old mule track connecting Porto and Ota to Evisa....in the old days cooler climate in Evisa for folks living down on the coast?
15 Evisa where two long distance routes come together and follow the same route to Cargese.jpg
At Evisa two of the long distance trails....MM Nord and Mare e Monti share the descent down to Cargese on the West coast.
16 Ajaccio beyond the Maquis.jpg
Having reached Porticcio by bus after completing the Mare e Monti we travelled uphill and stayed overnight at Bisinao then Porto-Pollo, Olmeto and Burgo.
17 towards Olmeto from Porto Pello.jpg
the ancient trails that link the villages... in 'the footfalls of long gone travellers'..... in the shade and often taking the line of the contour for long distances.
17 towards Olmeto from Porto Pello.jpg
the ancient trails that link the villages... in 'the footfalls of long gone travellers'..... in the shade and often taking the line of the contour for long distances.
18 Olmeto the olive oil village.jpg
In Olmeto we stayed in a room in the village in one of the old tall buildings...still very functional.
19 Fozzano just seems to grow from the earth.jpg
Now, reaching Fozzano, we are heading towards the East coast.
20 The bavella towers from the high point between Burgo and santa Lucia di Tallano.jpg
The Bavella Towers stretch, in the distance, is the penultimate day in the GR20 traverse.
21 The lady whose antecedent  went to Russia with Napoleon.jpg
In the village above at Serra di Scopamena...the memorial overlooks a view of the Bavella Towers...eight members of one family in the village never got back from WW1 to see the view again.
22 Punta di a Vacca Morta with Porto-Vecchio below.jpg
The area of the dead cow summit...we have our own Brown Cow Hill in the Eastern Cairngorms
23 the warm sea at Cala Rossa.jpg
a multi star rated holiday/beach place where picnics on the beach are banned....an absolutely well groomed area....then of course the folks staying here can pay the big shedloads of euros for the peace and quiet. Not much evidence of tall modern buildings in Corsica...so far!
9 a backwards look to Girolata.jpg
Maybe all looks more pleasant from a distance.
1 Corsica  routes.jpg
This year as an alternative way of reaching Porto-Vecchio from Calinzana we linked the Mare e Monti, Mare e Monti sud and the Mare-Mare sud into one long trip.
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