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.

1174-1178: Ruins and Routes

1174 – Deserted Occi and Algajola

Friday 24th May 2019

So with no news of the MH, we are making the most of the hire car and heading up to the hills and along the coast for the next few days.  

Steep ‘walk’ up to the village of Occi – not a ruined ice cream shop in sight!  But another amazing belvedere…..

Aregno beach was our sit down al fresco lunch – healthy soup and crisps…. 

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Worth the climb up for the views of the Gulf of Calvi and valley.

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Wonderful wild flowers everywhere.

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Thirsty work.  Oscar always muscles in first and Corrie waits patiently.

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She is a mountain dog after all!  We’ve just about stopped worrying about her and cliff edges.

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Occi was last inhabited in 1914, but had been a settlement since C15.

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Crumblng, but still owned by individuals.

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Picnic lunch on the beach.  We had taken the table and chairs out of Jez … no sandy bottoms for us!  And OK, it was a huge bag of crisps, but a healthy soup!

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Algajola with the citadel that is now used for admin.  A wander around and a ruinous-to-thighs ice cream!   Nelson assailed the town in 1790.

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Sunset towards Calvi. 

1175 – Mountain Drive

Saturday 25th May 

A day I remember mad cap Nicky Moss, who would have been 54 today.

I’d taken down a list of pretty hill towns from the guide books and fashioned a route.  The towns were very pretty, perched on the top of hills and joined together by bendy roads.  They have mostly started to blur in memory into narrow crooked lanes with great views.

We stumbled on a village market and had a wine tasting and had to buy some, followed by a cheese tasting and had to buy some of that … cheese later consumed at lunch.

Pigna stood out, as the Mayor had encouraged artists and crafts people to move in.  There was also a music school and auditorium with a busy schedule of events.  It was very busy compared to the other hill towns.  I was treated to a group of men practising their Polyphonic (male Corscian style a cappella) as I left one shop.

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We pulled over the the old wine press (closed) and had to reverse or carry on with a donkey on our bonnet! 

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Coffee stop … just ‘cos we needed to use the facilities!

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P1170001Eglise de la Trinite et San Giovanni – C12, just outside Aregno in the cemetery.

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White, green and ochre stone with primitive figure over the door.

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Well preserved frescos (or well touched up) of the 4 Doctors of the church, all holding a bible 1458.

P1170012Pigna … quite a few pix…. fairly typical of most of the hill towns, but more so…

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1176 – Argentella – Silver Mine

Sunday 26th May 

A coastal drive south today,  Beach with mussel-type blue flotsam – Corrie fancied noshing some but we discouraged her.  Discounted chocolate biscuits (x2) had mysteriously attached themselves to K’s shopping basket (a regular occurrence)… but perfect with our flask of coffee.  Great stop as we were the only people on the whole long beach.  We then walked the beach to the campsite at the end.  We had to walk through it to get back to the road and it seemed strange that it was not open.  On exiting, I read the notice in the office window.  The ocarina’s council had shut it down due to risk of flooding for the dam in 2017.  A massive blow I’m sure to the owners.

Over the other side of the road, we wandered up a track towards another ruin … an abandoned silver mine.  Of course, we are silver mine experts now having been to one in the Harz Mountains only weeks back.  Only this one was not a museum site, just abandoned derelict building and a reservoir / dam that we could wander over.  On the way in, we struck up conversation with a chap who seemed to live in the former manager’s house … the British had worked here until the outbreak of WW1, the French continued until 1918, when the silver was exhausted.  He explained he used to work in the very good campsite, but the authorities … bah!  There is no fear of the dam bursing and flooding the campsite!

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Coffee stop – So far the beaches have been super fine sand … amazing coloured stones.

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And these shaped like mussels, but wafer thin and stuck together in clumps.  Corrie attempted to consume some.

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Coffee stop with the beach to ourselves.

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A sneaky discounted packet of biscuits leapt into my trolley … but what have the marbles on the packaging to do with anything?

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Playtime!

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Argentella: part of the abandoned factory unit.
 

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Looks solid enough to us, but what do we know!

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Signs in the campsite …. run one way for fire and another in case of flooding! 

1177 – Lunch Voucher

Monday 27th May 

Still no news on the MH … calls so far with UK, France and Italy … at least twice daily!!  

A drizzly, cold day.  Nothing for it but to go to lunch, using the Lunch Voucher my Aged P’s had deposited in our bank account to cheer us up over the Jez problems.  And it certainly did.  Feeling much loved.  We went for the set menu, which had a good choice … and 1 litre of red to wash it down.  After the meal, the sun made an appearance and we (or I!!) dragged ourselves up the steps to the top of the citadel and then back down again … just because!

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Climbed up the outside of the citadel, just because it seemed like a good idea at the time!

1178 – Train to Ile Rousse

Tuesday 28th May 

An early start and walk into Calvi to catch the train that hugs the coast, where there is no road to Ile Rousse.  We’d seen people standing on the train the other day, so our theory was that if we got on at the start of the line, we stood a better chance of bagging a seat.  Picked up To Go coffee and onto the train … heading for the furthest carriage with fewer people boarding.  Mistake … the reason all the people were climbing into carriage 1, was because this one had seats.  So we were standing after all.  But we were the only ones with coffee 🙂

When I’d checked, on a previous day, about dogs on the train, i’d been told, no charge, but they must wear a muzzle.  Fortunately, we’d purchased some earlier this trip, but not wanted to upset the dogs by making them wear them, so it was a new one and a confusing one to CO2 to have to wear them.  When I bought the tickets, I was again reminded about muzzles and the conductor also said I had to keep them on, so we did.  A group of French men (arrived on a friend’s yacht) next to us on the train were suitably sorry of CO2 and made a big fuss of them.  As we alighted, we noticed other dogs … but no muzzle.  So on the return leg, we left the muzzles off … the conductor came along, petted CO2 and said diddly squat about muzzles.  We remind ourselves … this is France … rules are there to be broken!

Ile Rousse is described as the St Tropez of Corsica … NOT, we think.  A bit dull and nothing like as pretty or large as Calvi.  I climbed up to the lighthouse and Genovese tower, we lunched by the covered market to get out of the sun (good excuse, but CO2 were flagging) and then the wind got up.  We walked and dozed on the beach until the return train.  We won’t be back.  The train ride was worth the EUR12 for the pretty coves and beaches we passed.

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Calvi with glorious sunshine. 

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Views from the train…

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Amazing varied plants along the coast.

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Ile Rousse Llghthouse.

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These little trains get everywhere … but it crawled up and down to the lighthouse.


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1168-1173: Corsica Initial Impressions and FIAT

1168 – Bastia

Saturday 18th May 2019

Having showered on board, it was a relief to get off the boat, and an hour early at 7.00 a.m..  Corrie had refused to poop on the poop deck, so must’ve been desperate.  Nice boat though, relatively new.

A 5 min drive to a back street where we parked up for most of the day.  A poop opportunity for CO2 (finally) and then we all retired for a few hours sleep.  Downhill into Bastia, a citadel, old town and old port.  All slightly decaying concrete but pleasant.

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J’s first Frenc Pain au Chocolat, with Corrie ever hopeful.

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Bastia Old Port

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Whilst at a cafe, I had a online chat with Fiat … there is a Fiat Professional garage near Calvi … so we drove over to the other side of the island … a tenderly nursed engine, with cars piling up behind especially on hills.  The first campsite we went to was shut, a reverse down a sandy track and up a steep slope.  The second was full with a rally of Dutch … they are everywhere in Corsica from what we’ve seen.  The third had spaces, but EUR29 per night!!!! One dog was free, but the second incurred a fee of EUR5 per night.  Which dog shall we dispose of?!?

Being tired, we ate in the campsite restaurant.  Reasonably priced, pizza for J and chicken skewer for me washed down with a pichet of red.  Actually we asked for a litre pichet and she brought two half litres … old soaks!  Funny how you can instantly dislike some folk.  There was an English couple where the wife asked the staff if the burger had been goat … no beef, they answered with a puzzled expression.  had she thought it was really rat / cat??  She was having a loud one sided conversation with a German gent … apparently she has published a book about her life on Amazon so her children can read all about her life!  175 pages of it … no mention of how large the print.

 

1169 – Calvi

Sunday 19th May

A slow start day, especially for me!  J feels guilty about CO2 poop opportunity and dogs’ breakfast about 9.00, so nobly sorts them out.  A little bit of a wiggle on, when we realised that the TIC shut at 12.30.  But a lovely walk along the beach to get to the town.   The prices here are staggering compared to what we’re used to, but J read that it is a rich yachty destination.  Two coffees £5.30 and ice creams £7.95 (we have been paying £3-5).  So we weren’t tempted to have lunch out … although the menus did look good.  Hopefully it is just this touristy town which is over priced.  

We bumped into the same English couple, from last night’s restaurant, in the Citadel … she didn’t improve with conversation for me either.  J is far more tolerant than I.  Not seen them since :).

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View of Calvi and Citadel from our beach walk into town.

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Christopher Columbus was born here.  Apparently Lord Nelson blew up the house and lost an eye in the process.  There is a plaque but we didnt’ bother looking for it.  

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Views from the Citadel – craggy mountain hinterland.

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1170 – 1173:  Fiat Fun and Frolics!

 

Monday 20th – Thursday May

Fiat … Fix It Again Tomorrow!  Thanks Dan for reminding us, we should have got a Merc or Iveco engine! We coaxed Jez the 5 km to Fiat Calvi… and waited for the expert mechanic. Monsieur after having a look opined that he didn’t know what the problem was – and anyway they couldn’t look in detail for 2 weeks!  Sitting on the Fiat forecourt and on the ‘dog and bone’ to Fiat/RAC Euro rescue…..this started a chain of events…we quickly realised that there was not one person to deal with – UK had to talk to folks in France who didn’t answer phones or emails – and one lady was on hols with no replacement for a day!  We were promised a low loader – decamped to a parking near Calvi airport…..waiting and waiting….cleaned the van – and waited….  finally a low loader arrived, after 6 hours – rather a short loader – far too short.  Mechanic said it was safe to drive and we should take it Bastia tomorrow.  Limped back to cheaper campsite (and nicer).  Morning, we started the engine – into gear – and no movement whatsoever! More Euro phrolic calls – no suitable low loader available – they hope to rent one tomorrow!  Euro 1500 required for the job! We should start our own low loader business…..Not so much a “Comedy of Errors” as “Love’s labour Found – at Euro 1500”   Insurance provided a hire car and chalet accommodation on site – bijou…. K transferee our essentials by car to the chalet.  The Fiat Assistance would have arranged a hotel – B&B per night at EUR100 pp …sounds like 5* to us.  But with the dogs and eating out prices, we’ve opted to pay and claim back on a chalet on the campsite so we can cook ourselves and have a little more room (and deck) for CO2.

Next a.m., as no progress, we drove out for a tourist day….15 mins later – phone call – low loader en route!  U-turn and back to camp.  This was a regular loader…. we pushed Jez out and into position with help from happy campers… tow pin screwed in at the front and tow started as exit from site too low for the combined load. Then – snap, crackle and pop! (who remembers that breakfast cereal?) – tow bolt in Jez sheared off…..and damaged grill and fairing. Fortunately, we have photographic evidence. Now a veritable army of campers arrived and pushed Jez 500 metres (some uphill) out past the site entrance! amazing people, all – mercy beaucoup!  We followed M’sieu Le Tow 2.5 hours to Basti HGV garage – unloaded – and he asked K to sign his paper that all was well. Correctly, K refused unless the grill damage was noted! M’sieu Le Tug threw his toys out of the pram- and exited stage left in a Corsican huff!  Next – the garage cannot do anything until paperwork arrives from Fiat Italy – by pigeon post?  Meanwhile, we googled – and it’s likely the clutch is not covered by the warranty – verified by phone call – it seems the clutch is the problem – verified by ‘paperless’ garage.  Who remembers the concept of the ‘paperless office? In my office, we took multiple photocopies of emails and created more paper…ultimately recycled to provide – more paper…

Left the garage and found a riverside walk so C02 could uncross their legs – they’re so patient, our children pooches.  Back to Camping La Pinede – and site restaurant supper……zzzzzs. 

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Gotta love helpful campers, even if some of the summer shorts a tad tight!

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Damage.  The facia is one long piece, which will, no doubt, cost a fortune and take a year to arrive.

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Combined height.  I was convinced that we would loose the roof on a low bridge, or at least the awning on the other side.

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Being released off the low loader at the commercial vehicle garage.