1199-1204 : Sliding into Sardinia

 1199- Sardinia Here We Come

Monday 17th June 2019

Knowing that we would be back to wilding in Sardinia as of tomorrow night, we used campsite EHU and water to clean the inside of Jez and the outside of us.  We paid emptied and refilled, just before the office shut at 12.00, having to sit in their reception car park to tidy up inside before we set off.  We stopped at a supermarket, only to be greeted with Non, you can’t park here!!!!  But I want to do some shopping!  OK then, but park in the landing bay so I can see the car park, to catch anyone else who parks but doesn’t shop..  Whilst I was swinging my shopping trolley through the aisles, J had to ring me, he had a demand of EUR10 to park.  So I accosted the lady on the tills … no, you don’t need to pay as you are shopping.  But they were vigilant. As we drove around Bonifacio to the port, we could see the problem.  Two full car parks with height barriers and cars queuing to get in.  No motorhome parking.  At all.

We followed the signs for the port, that took us up towards the citadel (cripes!), then there was low tunnel.  A loud motorbike appeared fast at the passenger window … “don’t take the tunnel, you are too big” … thank you but we are going to the port, which was a right hadn’t turning.  Kind of him though, even if his sudden appearance did give us a minor heart attack.  At the port, we saw a load of cars parked up, queuing for the next ferry, we supposed.  So we squeezed onto the end.  After about 20 mins, a port official walk over, asks which ferry we were booked on and told us to come into the dock … we were only the second vehicle.  It soon filled up.

At embarking time, I was given a foot passenger boarding card and told to take the dogs with me.  J was left to reverse on … right to the back of the ship … with 3 Italians all barking contradictory orders at him in the semi haze having come from bright daylight.  Evidently he was not moving fast enough and one chappie even stuck his arm through the window and took over the steering wheel!!!

The crossing is only 12 km, and as you loose sight of the cliffs at Bonifacio, you see the land at Santa Teresa Gallura.  We struck up conversation with a British, but Venetian resident, tour guide.  She was in charge of 50 Brits on a week long holiday to Sardinia, with a day trip to Corsica.  I did ask what there itinerary was, so we could avoid them!  

On arrival in Sardinia, J took the dogs into the dog walking area, whilst I went to the Tourist Information.  Oscar watched me go and went into complete melt down … panic barking and scratching at the gate. We’ve been doing a new training programme with both dogs, but evidently need to do more on separation anxiety with Oscar!

The visit to the Tourist Information was one of those experiences that leaves a smile on your face.  A couple of super helpful ladies, whose remit was really only the local town, but were keen to share their knowledge and love of their island with me.  

We travelled up into the hills to Tempio Pausania to sleep in the carpark for and ancient site.  Back to wilding … peaceful and a sense of freedom.

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You can see how much of Corsica we’ve travelled … will have a few days to travel up the east coast on our return.  The loss of the van and spending a total of 13 nights in Calvi affected how much we saw.  It really is the most beautiful of islands.  Stunning mountains, coves and beaches.  BUT, it is very expensive and wild camping approaching the high tourist season is strictly enforced … we could have got away with it in a few places, but … risk adverse.

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Our harbour front port parking … lunch in Jez whilst watching all the pleasure craft.

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Just leaving Bonifacio, with its citadel.

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No pooping on the poop deck … only a 1 hr crossing.  They were much admired but the British tour group.

1200 – Pausing at Tempio Pausania and Wine Museum

Tuesday 18th June 

We both actually ran … first time again in ages.  We are both currently rubbish at exercise … ho hum… need to get up earlier when it is cooler.  Our run took us past the Mairi Nuraghe, a well preserved round tower; it didnt look as if it had been open officially to the public for some time, and the wire near the gate had been forced.  After break, we headed into Tempio proper. A walk up through a park and then down to the Rinaggiu Spring.  The health effects of the mineral water were recognised by the Romans as artefacts have been found nearby.  Back through the park in search of coffee.  Lots of Italians of all ages out walking, standing and chatting in the park.  We do like being in Italy … I might have asked for Cafe con leche (Spanish – duh)!, but it was all done with a giggle and a smile.  And ONLY EUR1 each.  And Stong proper Italian Coffee.  I am in COFFEE HEAVEN!!

Lunch and a nanny nap was by the stadium in Berschidda.  Since it so hot and everything shuts sown between 12 and 4ish, we are trying to siesta (well James is) after lunch and then do/ see something else from about 4.00.  Our body clocks are not quite into the rhythm of this and meal times seem to be a bit all over.  We then drove carefully around the outskirts and to the national wine museum.  Some of it was in English, but it was not that informative.  Although a good explanation of cork harvesting.  AND, our EUR3 pp entry fee gave us a wine tasting.  It would have been rude not to come away with a local bottle … very light and dry due to the granite.

Our overnight was a picture perfect spot.  OK, so we bumped down a track touching overgrown foliage, and slept on a bit of a slope …. but it was a stunning lake side spot.  The dogs roamed free and we soaked up the peace.

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Park walk in Tempio.

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Rinaggiu Spring, where a number of loads were collecting water.  We’ve some across this before where they use natural spring water for the important business of making coffee and cooking pasta.  We all had a sample, and of course, felt immediate health benefits.

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 It might have been small, but it packs a punch.

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Berschidda Wine Museum … there were fab views from the deck outside.

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Cork is harvested approx every 8 years with top and bottom cuts and then the vertical.  Only by the 3rd harvest is the cork of sufficient quality to be used for bottle cork.

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Pitch perfect, Laga Lerna near Pattada. 

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In the morning we were joined by a few fishermen, and cattle and sheep coming down to the water’s edge.

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 Corrie made herself a nest.

1201 – Budduso Coffee, Sacred Well and Nuoro

Wednesday 19th June 

We seem to have set a tradition in the Clune household now of stopping off somewhere for a coffee.  Today was no different.  Coffee stop was Budduso … nothing remarkable … granite stone streets, a little graffiti / wall art and a golden sacristy in the church.  Another good and inexpensive coffee :).

Near Orune is the Su Tempiesu, sacred well.  It was down a 5km single track road with the occasional overhang … fortunately we didn’t meet any traffic in either direction.  As is now our custom, we lunched, J napped and I did some admin sitting in the shade – the Aged Ps have just got back from a trip to Kosovo and emailed me scanned copies of a LOT of post.  I have rearranged the garage, so that we can get table and chairs out for picnics etc … normally this is not something we would do, but is soooo hot.  And what a fabulous lunch view we had.

After lunch we paid our EUR3 pp (every entrance seems to be EUR3) and took the botanical path a long way down to the sacred well.  Coming back up was the fauna path, with lots of welcome benches.  We were accompanied by the resident male and entire dog. – for the non doggy, this means he still had his bits, asides Oscar.  He and Corrie got on well, but we had to keep Oscar on the lead a lot, as the two were hackles up.  On the way back up, the resident dog decided to move in and assert his authority … it took both J and I’s combined efforts to get him off Oscar … although O was giving a good account of himself!  It has left oscar a bit more nervous and barky around other dogs … GRRR!  That’s put training back a bit.

We parked for our overnight stop in the mountain region’s capital Nuoro.  The town is pretty ordinary … but amazing views to white peaks on one side.  We headed up and up to find the Tourist Office shut and we couldn’t find a gelateria anywhere.  So we stopped for a drink in a lovely square … the waiter had worked in London for 13 years and was happy to practice his English and look after us.  We are finding this new daily routine is playing havoc with our digestion … we were starving … it was 7.00, after all.  The restaurant opened at 8.00 … Guiseppe brought us loads of pizza squares to keep us going.  I ate far too many and couldn’t manage all the amazing fresh tuna.  

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A bit of Buddoso graffiti.

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We passed these cork harvesters … they gave us a cheery wave.

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Lunch time view at Su Tempiesu.

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Start of the Botanical walk down.

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Su Tempiesu.  It was only discovered in 1953 by the land owner as he excavated to make terraces to take advantage of the spring.  The wells were to celebrate the importance of water and ceremonies took place here.  This is typical of the Sardinian wells in structure, but this is the best preserved.  A triangular entrance, with a steep roof leads to a chamber with seats on each side, stone steps down to the spring.

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And this was the little terror who took on our Oscar …quite a sweet dog so long as you are not another entire male!. 

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Nuoro:  Piazza Sebastiano Satta, poet.  The granite blocks have small bronzes representing Nuraghi statues on them.  Nuoro has a lot of Sardinian literary past residents – we’ve not heard of any of them.    

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 The most wonderful tender tuna ever, with a hazelnut crust.  I’ve made sofritto veggies before and had to have another go after this, but mine isn’t as tasty.

 

1202 – Orgosolo Murals

Thursday 20th June 

J walked up hill and into town to buy some more e cigarette supplies, go to the bank and pharmacy for rehydration salts … given how warm it is and how much we are ‘perspiring’, we cannot drink enough water, so half a daily sachet each of salts seems like a good idea.  

Although the Nuoro car park was quiet, it wasn’t pretty, so we headed up a mountain to a parking that was described as shady for lunch and siesta time.  There wasn’t much shade where we could drive a van of Jez’s size, but we lunched on a mound with shade and a breeze.  J napped and I took another layer of fur off Oscar … he does feel the heat.  When I walked around the woods with CO2, I was reminded by how Mussolini believed in ‘organised’ leisure.  This was a massive park with a huge tiled ball area, swings and slides everywhere, 3 natural springs and picnic benches.  All a bit tired now, but still serviceable.

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Lunch in search of shade.

We stopped late afternoon in Orgosolo.  This was bandit territory and a centre of independence; conflict from the local sheep farmers with the nearby crop farmers, conflict and vendettas between rival clans.  One feud over the rich cheiftan’sinheritance in 1903 resulted in the virtual extermination of two families.  Between 1901 and 1954, Orgosolo averaged one murder every two months!!!  From 1953 post war kidnappings started.  All this ‘feeling’ now manifests itself in graffiti all over the town.  The murals may be political (Sardinian independence and world affairs), village life and some are just comic.  We had planned to drive to another lakeside spot, but it was an hour away and 7.00 by now.  A quiet night in the cemetery car park, shared with a chatty French couple and the permanent residents, who were obviously not chatty!

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Happy are the people who don’t need heroes. 

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Love Sardinia, respect the beautiful nature.

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Wanted for the following offences:  attack on the right to education …


1203-1204 – Chilling in Arbatax

Friday 21st – Saturday 22nd June 

We’ve been so hot and sticky, we decided to have one night on an ACSI campsite … it turned into two.  Chores, more admin, the twin tub came out, a major garage reorganisation, winter clothes away etc.  A long sandy beach for dog walking.  And shade :).  Late Friday afternoon (after the siesta), we cycled to Arbatax, known for it’s red rocks.  We had been trying to find out about the Trenino Verde, small railways that go up into the hills … a resident Brit in one of the boat tour shops told us that ALL italian tourist trains are waiting for a political decision … in the meantime the weeds are growing on the tracks.  

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The small sandy beach on the S of Arbatax.  A lovely conversion with a family from the west of the island.

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In the Red Rocks car park … all wearing headphones for the music, even though we couldn’t hear the music, you could spot which were out of time / tone deaf.

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Due to fire risk there are communal BBQ areas on campsites.  Some interest in our Webber Kettle, especially when the lid went on.  But not as much interest as …

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… a half suckling pig.  An hour an half to roast … made our meat look paltry.

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Relaxed days.

1192-1197: Last Days in Corsica

1192 – Curving Out of Corte

Tuesday 11th June 2019

We showed, emptied and filled at the campsite.  It had been a lovely haven next to the river to enjoy being back in Jez.  The only two issues with the site, were the price (EUR31 p.n.) and the noise from the river, meaning we had to repeat everything we said!

We headed across the hills from Corte.  Poor James, who elects to drive first, got the rough end of the drive … concentration for him and scenery for me (with some back seat driving thrown in … I can’t help myself!).

We encountered some wild life along the way …

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Out of nowhere, with no dog or shepherd in sight, these careered down the hill at break neck speed across the road, to stop and graze the other side.

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The car that was behind us, was impatient and we don’t know how he hasn’t a sheep head shaped imprint in his bodywork.

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At our coffee stop, we were surrounded by pigs – their gate was no barrier; they went under it!  Obviously these had not yet been taught to read … the orange splodges are our paws and dog on board stickers.  CO2 were not impressed … Corrie quite scared.

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Amazing scenery …

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They were not going at our hedgehog pace, so J pulled over tho let them pass with a cheery wave.

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 The highest road mountain pass in Corsica.

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Evening snuggles.  And yes, I’ve been trying some Rose wines … but I’ll be going back to white or red, as I’m finding them a bit flavourless.


1193 – Being Still (Again)

Wednesday 12th June

We hadn’t planned to stay a second day here, but it was such a lovely campsite.  We did some more laundry and I walked CO2 in the olive groves.

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Lazy watchers on.

 

1194 – Tortoises

Thursday 13th June

We stopped at Europe’s largest (apparently) tortoise sanctuary … I went in and J and CO2 napped.  Apparently there are 1700 species here.  There were certainly species for all around the world and two types of giant.  A real diversity on shell shape and colours.  The way they move and clamber is really quite comic.  But it was verging on hilarious when the omnivore (water is the main habitat) were fed.  They all plopped into the pond which became a maelstrom of swirling water and headed for the pellet and fish platter.  Using only their mouths they climbed into the tray, spraying the food with slimy and water, and attempted to pull a whole fish head back to the pond.  Occasionally one would almost get stuck on the rim of the platter and have to sway back and forth and extend a really loooong leg to give a push over the side.

P1170199 Chomp Chomp Chomp.  Gently does it. 

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Don’t move, i’ll go over you.

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All still and calm in our world, until …

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… food’s this way chaps!

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One of the two Giant species.

1195 – Ajaccio by Bike, Boat and Train

Friday 14th June

Another ACSi campsite (reduced prices out of season), but a 12 km bike ride from Ajaccio.  The campsite advised us to cycle into the town, only 3 km away, and then to get the boat shuttle to Ajaccio.  Fairly cool as we set off, but every now and again, a warm wind would caress us.  It was a forerunner of the heat to come.  The boat worked fine, taking across the bay.  On arrival, J breakfasted … in the shade … it was hotting up.  As we started the walking tour i’d prepared, we spotted the Tourist Petit Train … something we should normally avoid, as surely this is for the elderly and infirm?  Having only just arrived and now wilting, we went for it … the justification being that it would take us out along the coast for a view of the Sanguinaires (islands), which was too far to walk.  we also saw the outside of the building where Napoleon was born.

We then wandered up the Fesch Museum, which if we’d had more time, we would have visited, but we had timed tickets back (2.45, or wait for the 5.45) and needed lunch … in the shade.  We both had salad.  In fact, so did everyone else in the restaurant.  Temperature was now 40C!

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Porticcio where we caught the shuttle to Ajaccio.

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Ajaccio.

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Napoleon dressed as a Roman Emperor with 4 lions at the base.  Interesting that the Roman emperors had statues of themselves done in the guise of Gods …. 

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CO2 made friends with the people in front and behind us on the Petit Train.

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Just to prove we have actually been on one!

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Another Napoleon memorial just outside town.

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The Sanguinaires Islands.  This was also our ice cream stop!

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The Fesch Museum housing the best collection of Italian art on Corsica.  Fesch was obviously an interesting character… Napolean’s uncle and ecclesial and military by turn.  He accompanied Boney through Italy, working his passage as the Quartermaster, amassing art on the way,. Afterwards he re-doned his clerical robes and was apppointed as a Cardinal to Rome.  He persuaded the Pope to attend Napolean’s coronation as Emperor.  But Napoleon, who believed in self made men, took his crown from the hands of the Pope and placed it on his own head.

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The small harbour where we waited for the shuttle back.

 1196 – Filitosa

Saturday 15th June

We spent the morning at Filitosa, possibly the most important megalithic site in Corsica.  It was only discovered in 1946 and has been dated to 3300BC.  Around 1500 menhirs of 2-3 metres height were erected, but i think only about 20 remain.   Many were carved with human faces, armour and weapons.  They may have been designed to ward off the enemy, the Toreens, but were unsuccessful, as many were later used as building materials by the invaders.  The Toreens built circular stone structures which may have been used as temples.  Some of these stone structures are very well preserved.

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The boulders around the site were also amazing, the way the wind and rain had shaped them.  Many really did look like animals.

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And our best girl loves to roll in anything that has come out of any animals bottom, in this case cow dung!  Shampoo and set back at the motorhome!

1197- Father’s Sunday in Sartene

Sunday 16th June

We nearly skipped Sartene as there was no parking in the town.  What I had identified turned out to be a Best Western Hotel :(.  About 1.3km out fo the town was a viewpoint above the cemetery … we stopped for coffee and re-read the guide book … austere, square and stone architecture, with winding narrow alleys.  We hadn’t planned to have lunch but J is a father of 4 and it was Father’s Day!  Another salad as it was too hot for anything else.  Our last night was another ACSI outside Bonnifaccio.

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View above the cemetery.

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Sartene.

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A bit of sausage anyone???

 

 

 

1188-1191: Enjoying ‘Home’

1188 – Home Again!

Friday 7th June 2019

A good night’s sleep in the hotel and I had a luxuriant BATH!  Being an old fashioned establishment, except for the incongruous piece of modern ‘art’ on the wall, the hotel had a deep and wide steel bath.  In I went for a wallow.  J was out with CO2 …. just as well as neither dog can understand my voluntarily getting wet!

We SUSPECTED that the garage was telling porkpie pies about the MH being ready today … but the pressure was on as the insurance company had rung them.  We did KNOW that it would not be ready till the afternoon … so we went for a wander around the town.  Lovely.  Narrow hilly streets leading up the the citadel with a museum.  We didn’t go in … we’re finding increasingly that unless a museum or site is unusual, we can’t be bothered to take turns when CO2 are not welcome.  A super Belvadere – which showed us the entry to a campsite the Tourist Office had recommended for our 7.55m van that took dogs … no way Jose!  A tight turn over a bridge … I later read reviews and vans of 7m had struggled.  We will only just have got Jez back .. don’t want another issue!  So Park4Night out and we routed to 4 campsites to check them out.  2 no dogs and 2 OK.  Plan for tonight … if we get Jez back!  

Corte is a gem.  Beautiful and historic.  Pascal Paoli retuned here after exile and made Corte his seat of Goverment from 1755-1769, the first Corsican printing press and the first University.  However, in 1768, France bought Corsica from the Genoese and Corte lost its status. The university was closed and only reopened in 1981.  The town has a strong sense of independence – we noticed a lot of signs in Italian … no … the Corsican language is based on Italian.  Lots of Graffiti about independece and hating the French.  The University, named the Pascal Paoli, is the driving force behind the resurrection and preservation of Corsican as a language. 

Whilst out and about, I took a call from Europcar … just checking we’d not absconded with the hire car.  Although RAC Commercial on behalf of Fiat Assist had extended, and extended several times, our keeping the car, it transpires they had not told Europcar!

A trip to the supermarche for lunch which we ate in in the car park, whilst we waited for 2.00 and the garage to open up after lunch.  No answer … no answer.  Here we go again.  do we stay or do we go?  We elected to drive back down to Bastia … at least we’d be closer if Jez were to be ready.  A call en route … yay… just finished ‘this minute!’  Interesting how the garage had told the insurance they were in regular contact with us … they’ve not rung us once!!!  Anyway … hot foot to pay and then drive around the corner to the commercial vehicle yard to get Jez.  Unloaded car into van.  Convoy to Bastia airport to drop car and back up to the hills to one of the campsites we’d inspected earlier.  A lovely shady river side spot.  We’re HOME AGAIN.

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OK… local map and that’s the recommended campsite down there … too tight a turn!

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Napoleon and his brother were born in this house, according to the sign!!!  Amazing more wasn’t made of it.

IMG 3138Whilst on a water and soft refreshments spot(!), a convoy of MGs drove through the town. Many were right hand drive but Belgium and Swiss plates.

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Home at last.  It’s only been 16 nights!

 

1189 –  Chill

Saturday 8th June

We chilled and did admin.  I discovered some great off lead walking up hill!

 

1190 – Relentless Rastonica Gorge

Sunday 9th June

We sallied forth with the bikes and the Os-car.  Flask of coffee and picnic on board.  We’d been told, by the Tourist Office, that the valley road was not suitable for motorhomes.  We would have been fine for the first 6km, as there was a campsite nestled amongst the trees and bend in the river.  Thereafter, it would have been impassable to us.  We have to think about these things again now that we are back in Jez.  What no one had told us, is how relentlessly steep and uphill all the way it was.  I was in full Pleasure Mode (full power) and 1st gear for a good chunk of it.  At one point a French car slowed to let me continue the ascent, he then gave me a clap … he’d no idea we had no intention of making it to the end or that I was using full power.

But the scenery was stunning.  I couldn’t take any pix one the way up, or I’d not have got going again!  We kept going till a cafe as J deserved a cold beer … their lunch menu was light and not extortionate, so the picnic was aborted!   We didnt make it all the way along the valley to the car park; we’d done enough with 10k uphill!  It was a super easy plain sailing all the way down.

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Spot the fish head.

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The pics really don’t do the scenery justice.  The guide book described it as the most attractive gorge… certainly the best we’ve seen so far.

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Hot work. 

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1191 – Plans Change

Monday 10th June

We’d planned to walk the Travignano Valley; footpath only.  But the forecast was low 30C … we aborted this idea as far too much like hard work in this heat and humidity.  Especially as the first 1.5 km would have been along the road with two over excited dogs.  As well as water for us, we have to carry even more for CO2, making heavy back packs.  So we did another chill down / admin day.  These seem to be a bit of a feature now it is much warmer.  We did clamber up steps to the town to find the cash point as the campsite didn’t take cards.  J had another deserved cold beer and we both had ice cream.  A couple of typically Corsican flavours are Chestnut (mountains are covered in Chestnut trees) and fig.  Fig jam is also served like quince jelly, as a side to cheese.

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Being a bridge man, J was able to inform me that his was cable stay and suspension.

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I’m a woman, what’s your super power?  But is it symbolic that it was on bin?

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Want!

 

1184-1187: Giving It The Finger

1184 – An Unwanted Drive

Monday 3rd June 2019

I should explain the title … Corsica is the shape of your hand with a clenched fist facing you and the index finger pointing up.  Cap Corse is the index finger.

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We’d planned to have a no driving day after the longish drive to get here.  And the log cabin with wide deck felt so relaxing.  Great views out onto greenery; we couldn’t quite see the sea, but you had to turn your head around to the right before you could see the field of motorhomes.  This was full of people of a certain vintage oozing through the day, taking siestas in the sun.  And we planned to have some of that.  

But plans, as you know, go awry.  

We’d been told by phone that the quote from the garage for the work on our MH would not arrive until Tuesday, but it pinged into my in box on late Friday.  After 5 abortive phone calls to the garage to tell them to go ahead (phone dropped in cradle, left to ring and left on hold for 20 mins etc), we gave up and drove to the garage.   At least this campsite was only an hour away.  At the garage, the receptionist found our paperwork and J duly signed off the repair.  She took my email and phone number and promised to get back with when the work would be completed … no prizes for guessing, that she did not.

By the time we’d done a big super market shop and found some half decent dog food, it was lunchtime and I’d not even had a coffee.  So we HAD to stop in a seaside village and have a light lunch … but this was then followed by dessert … so not so light after all.

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Campsite Domaine La Pietra … after one of the local beers (although it would have been the beer named after the place!).  Not cheap, but wonderfully calm setting.  Wonderful bird song.

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As the weather hadn’t yet really hotted up, we could have done without the shady afternoon deck.  We used the clothes airer and one of the sun loungers to gate CO2.

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A strawberry version of Tiramasu … with our lunchtime view.

1185 – Cruising Cap Corse

Tuesday 4th June

Picnic packed, we drove north around Cap Corse and back across the hills in the middle.  Coffee in a pretty dead village. Great views, but not as wonderful as the drive from Calvi to Porto.

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Porticciolo with one place open for coffee.

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Macinaggio, top right of the finger.  Pretty enough if you’d wanted a restaurant lunch or a boat ride, but nothing else here.

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Moving around to the top left to the viewpoint at the Moulin Mattei, this was the lunch stop.

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Master of all he surveys.

1186 – A Stiff Climb and Reward

Wednesday 5th June

Rather than be (completely) idle we trudged in the heat up to the ruin that we could see from our cabin deck.  Wonderful views, once we’d hauled ourselves up the last section by the rope provided.

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About 20 stones telling you the plant names.  We just couldn’t always work out which plant they were referring to.  I recognised Rosemary!!!

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And up we go gently …

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… and not so gently.

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And J making it look easy on the descent.

1187 – Thurstrating

Thursday 6th June

Car loaded (jam packed), we headed off across the Cap to continue the western side of the finger.  We’d been told we could collect the car (probably) late afternoon.  We picnicked on a beach just north of Nonza, and then about 2.30 I tried to ring the garage … eventually got hold of someone!  Zut alors!  They’d ordered the wrong part!  They would try and get hold of the correct one urgently, as we had been waiting a long time, hadn’t we?????  Er … yes! 

OK, so we are homeless and based on their work rate so far, we thought we wouldn’t get the car back until Monday … earliest.  So onto the phone to campsites for cabins at our next destination … Corte in the hills.  Finally, we phoned a site – the elderly-sounding gent said no problem … he would start to get one ready? H spoke to K alternately in German and Corsican French… after a total of 3 hours driving, wearied at 6:00 pm (dogs dinner time) – said gent said – NO DOGS – “Merde”!!!  He also blamed K for her bad French! Absolute bollocks – pardon my Irish…  Nothing daunted – we drove to the nearest town – Corte – to find a hotel – quick success – and doggy friendly with private parking.  The accommodation was 3star – a bit retro and tired but – a large comfy bed and big bathroom….  On being asked country of origin by the receptionist, K asked wasn’t it evident from her accent.  Non, madame speaks good French with an excellent accent.  K was therefore rather scathing (impolitely) about deaf and blind old men running customer facing businesses!  Food needed – so up to the square and a nice family restaurant. Then a glass of wine in our room – and lots of zsssss for all.

What will tomorrow bring? – “The return of the Jedi/Jezi”?????   We’ve had “The (Fiat) Empire Strikes Back” and “The Longest Day”.   Hope springs…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1179-1183: Completing Calvi

1179 – Corniche Road to Porto

Wednesday 29th May 2019

Another day driving roads that were indicated as difficult with the MH.  Actually, except for a narrow bit at the end, we would have been fine in Jez … but very limited parking and unwelcoming No Motorhome signs at our destination Porto.  So a much more relaxing drive in the car.  And what a drive.  Reckon this is the best scenery we’ve seen.  Going south from Porto, the coast is a lot more extreme and rugged, bashed by the wilder west sea.  We took a picnic and a coffee flask and managed great view stops for both.  Porto was really pretty and definitely worth a drive to, unlike Ile Rousse, which on a take it or leave it basis, we would have left it!

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Coffee Stop at a viewpoint.

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Our shade seeker.

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Wooded walk up to further view point.

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And our mountain dog admiring the view.  The rocks looked much redder.

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Porto beach with a few die hard sun worshipers.

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Porto beach’s magnificent back drop.

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Crashing waves, watched an idiot wade out paddling and get knocked over twice.  I’d already decided there was no way I attempt any life saving – suicide.

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Boats from Porto to inaccessible by road beaches.

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Would that have been an ice cream???

1180 – Best Walk in Ages

Thursday 30th May 2019

One of the guide books mentioned a walking area, Le Foret de Bonifatu, with views and rock pools, so we headed there.  We had no idea how stunning the scenery and views were going to be.  We actually felt that we got right into the mountains.  Part of this walk is on the GR20 – a number of people follow this crossing from one end of Corsica to the other.   We were both buzzing from what a great walk it had been.

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Lunch in the car park so we didn’t have to carry it.  More sensible than we realised as it was a long nonstop way up.

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Must I cross this?!

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The path up, so many wild flowers.

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And more wild lavender.

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Above the tree line.

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I can be a mountain dog too!

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Rather than balance on this to cross the raging river (note – not a stream!), we had to do this ….

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Corrie, of course bounced back and forwards to show how easy it was, Oscar had to be pulled!

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Not just one steam, but two! Think Corrie is asking what is keeping us!  Are you making a dog’s dinner of that?

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At the Auberge by the car park … I have been a brave boy!

1181 – Wedding Anniversary

Friday 31st May

We’d decided to take it easy, so we played tennis!  For the first time in about 3 years.  We both really enjoyed it, but I was slaughtered.  J may be 72, carrying an additional stone and half from the hormone treatment, but he won 6:1!

We wandered into Calvi and out the other side to a restaurant that figured highly in reviews … so many restaurants all offer the same menu in the town.

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My first Kir of this trip.

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Being a foodie, I love it when I am presented with something new to me.  A goats cheese mousse on a bed of beetroot spaghetti … reckon I could replicate this.

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The chocolate mousse looked more like a boudin noir and lacked flavour, but nice presentation.

1182 – Down Day

Saturday 1st June

Now an odd thing happened.  James fancied a beach day!  This is the man who now seeks to sit in the sun, wanting to get sand where it has no place to be!  Is this an undiscovered side affect of the hormone treatment?  So we had another game of tennis … still slaughtered, but I managed to take two games off him!  Lunch and a doze on the beach.  No swimming, although I did paddle and Oscar did his usual swim out and round me, as if to herd me back to shore.  Off tomorrow to pastures new, so the car was loaded … very solidly!

1183 – The Long Road Out of Calvi

Sunday 2nd June

Unbelievably, we have been a staggering 11 nights in the chalet, 2 nights in the van on this campsite and another 2 nights at another campsite in Calvi.  I think we can safely say that we’ve done Calvi!    As check in was after 5 at our next campsite chalet, we took the slow mountain road.

Muro was dead as a Dodo.  Not even a cafe.  Feliceto gave us a choice of cafe … we opted for the epicerie (old fashioned) with all the locals.  Super large creamy coffee and only EUR5.  Speluncato, which I dubbed Spunkato … you’ll see why in a moment, was also definelty worth a stop.  Had we not a picnic, a lunch in the square would have been appealing.  Lots of winding narrow streets and 360 views.

We skirted the Desert des Agriate, but the coast is not accessible unless you are in a 4 wheel drive.  Scenery was different, lower scrub.  We had intended to stop for a coffee (or ice cream) in St Florent, but absolute nowhere to park the car.  It was heaving and looked like a bustling holiday resort … sure we’d have had a choice of coffees (ice creams!).  Then through Patrimonio, with all the vineyards offering tastings … not for us on a driving day!  Across the bottom of the finger that sticks up NE of Corsica, and half way up the eastern side to Pietra Corbara Marina to our next campsite chalet!

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Speluncato – the campanile had the extra bit added in the C19 and the guide book described it as a phallic addition.  So not my dirty mind!

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Motorhome Repair Update

No news really.  Having been for a week trying the get a quote emailed to us, we were told by phone it would be Tuesday before we would receive it.  But then right at the end of the Friday, the email arrived.  Too late for us to ring the garage … that’ll have to be Monday.