Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Mare e Monti Hike - Part 2

Day 6 - Curzu to Serrriera 

Fall colours on the trees.
Another "off trail" campsite. This one with a view down the valley and to the sun setting on the ocean.
 Day 7 - Serriera to Ota

The route took us down a deep ravine with high cliff walls on either side. 

Arbousier, also known as the strawberry tree, grows prolific along the trail.
The reddest of the berries are ripe and the birds love them! When cooked, they're used to make jam, liquer, etc.
Most of the villages along the route are very similar. One main road going through them, with businesses situated along the main road, and "residents only" roads going up or down the hillsides to homes. 
And a cemetery on a hillside somewhere nearby.
Evening light on the village of Ota.
Day 8 - Ota to Marignana

Nets to catch the olives falling off the trees.
There were lots of different kinds of mushrooms along the way.
This solid bridge was more than 500 years old. The Genoese knew how to build things!

It was chestnut picking season.
We saw several bags full of them along the trail and could hear people in the bushes busy picking.
Another narrow winding Corsican road.
In contrast to the solid 500 year old bridge, this modern hanging bridge was rickety and falling apart. 
Another big, very old tree.
Abandoned but still standing.
A spot of colour in the dark forest.
Day 10 - E Case to Cargese

Our final day on the trail had only a bit of uphill to get up onto the ridges and the rest was down, down, down to the ocean and the village of Cargese.
More farmland with cows, sheep and goats as we got into the lowlands and closer to the ocean.

Our final destination of Cargese.
 A very nice and busy little town with several hotels and restaurants open, even in the off season.
Bus and Train Journey Back to Calvi

After 10 days of quite good weather (mostly sun, a bit of cloud, one overnight rain shower and one day with a few spits of rain) it was definitely changing!
Big black clouds cover the sky in the morning as we wait to catch the bus to Ajaccio.
It started raining about 2 minutes after we got on the bus.
On the train from Ajaccio to Calvi. Spectacular scenery even in the rain.
The clouds, deep valleys and high peaks through the middle of the island made it very dramatic.
Morning light on the citadel after a night of torrential downpour and massive thunder and lightening storm.
We had a great hike! The off season meant we almost had the trails completely to ourselves and we were just fine without all the gites/hostels being open. We'd definitely think about coming here again. There are many hikes to choose from!

Maps and guidebook: The trail was mostly well marked and easy to follow. We made a couple minor mistakes but were able to get quickly back on track. We both use the Gaia GPS app and downloaded the trail map onto our phones. We also had paper maps via a French guidebook (pictured below) and Andrew had a book with written description in English on his Kindle. We also both carried inReach devices with the Earthmate app.

See also:
Mare e Monti Hike - Part 1
Corsica Sunsets

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