Corsica, France

Day 27 – Monday 24/05
Bastia to Saint Florent via Cap Corse – 108kms Total 1719kms

What a day, I mean WOW!!!!!!! It’s the best way we can describe it.
We rode the whole peninsula today and the ride just kept getting better and better as we went along. We felt good after all the food we ate and a good nights sleep.
The east coast was very nice but the west coast was fantastic with many climbs and beautiful views around every bend. Today was the longest, hottest and most difficult day of the whole tour.
We stretched ourselves today and by the time we reached camp at 21:00 we were totally spent.
We set up the tent and went for pizza and beer before anything else. One note on the beer, these guys here can brew beer. We drank this Corsican beer called Pietra, it is delicious, and a bit heavy at 6% alcohol. Camping here is pretty good.
The road was pretty rough today and we hope its the only one this rough. There were moments when I was seeing Monique doing 40kph downhill with only a 50cm tall barrier between her and a 200m drop to the sea and me worrying if I adjusted her breaks rights.
Living on the edge, LOL Loved it 100%

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Coming into the port of Bastia.

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Bastia waterfront.

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Heading North along the coast.

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The Torra dÉrbalunga in Brando.

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Looking back South with Torra dÉrblunga center left.

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There were little torrents dotted along this coast.

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Rest stop in Macinaggio with Capraia Isola in the distance.

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Last view of the Northern most point of Cap Corse, we now turn and continue South. Click to view larger.

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This is a close up of the panorama above. Seems they still need to learn not to destroy their beautiful island with indiscriminate dumping.

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Near the top of our first climb in Corsica.

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And the little windmill at the top.

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It was very touristic at the top lots of cars and tourist busses.

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The beautiful western coastline of Cap Corse. Below to the right is Port de Centuri and a camping, we briefly thought about going there but the climb tomorrow morning would not be fun.
Click to view larger.

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Looking back North from Near Pino.

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Monique truly enjoying the ride.

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I was a bit hairy riding along this road without any guard rail.

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But the views were breathtaking.

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The village of Nonza in the distance.

Day 28 – Tuesday 25/05
Saint Florent – Rest day.

We had plans to do many things today but ended up doing nothing more than drinking beer, doing chores, enjoying the weather and doing a little bit of shopping.
Chatted with this very nice French couple touring on a strange looking hybrid bike, with the front rider lying down and the rear rider sitting up, strange indeed but than again if they enjoy it…
We just couldn’t see ourselves on something like that.

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Laundry day.

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We had our stuff just hanging everywhere.

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We were very lucky to be near this Mimosa tree in full bloom, the aroma from those flowers was heavenly.

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The nice couple we chatted with.

Day 29 – Wednesday 26/05
Saint Florent to Losari – 47kms Total 1766kms

Got up early and were at the gate by 08:00. The climbing started soon after we left the village. Good climb but it got very hot quick. We had fantastic views all around and through the whole ride.I didn’t feel good today I should slow down that drinking, 3 litters of 6% Alcohol beer before the hills on a hot day is tough.
It was still a great ride which we both enjoyed.

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Leaving Saint Florent. Click to view larger.

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The heat today made us break out our special hats.

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Despite the heat we had down here, those high peaks still had snow on them.

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Not all roads were bad this section was really smooth.

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Around every turn we were greeted with some fantastic views of Plage dÓstriconi. Click to view larger.

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Some of the wildlife on the island.

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Looking back at Plage dÓstriconi.

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Preparing the evening dinner.

Day 30 – Thursday 27/05
Losari to Galeria – 64kms Total 1830kms

Another great day of cycling. The first bit, (getting out of Calvi) was tough with all the traffic but the roads were good. After Calvi we followed the coastal road to Galeria and the views were nothing less than spectacular. The road though was very rough and that was one of the low points of the day.
The other was the camping here, it is really bad. They should be ashamed of themselves to ask money for this shit holes (pardon my French). In Holland they would have shut this place down, and some others we saw on this island so far.

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Just leaving camp early in the morning.

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Losari in the distance (right middle). Click to view larger.

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Calvi waterfront promenade.

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It didn’t take long for the hoards of tourist to start coming out. So time to leave.

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As soon as we left Calvi the ride became more enjoyable with fantastic views. Click to view larger.

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I couldn’t take enough pictures of this beautiful coastline.

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Around every turn and more fantastic views. Click to view larger.

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We saw these reddish plants along the road. They looked nice, but no idea what they are.

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Baie de Nichiareto.

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Baie de Crovani, with Lárgentella in the center. Click to view larger.

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Many times today we just had to stop and take it all in.

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Golfe de Galeria.

Day 31 – Friday 28/05
Galeria to Porto 46kms – Total 1876kms

Again very nice ride today. The first 10/15kms were almost flat but than began the 11km climb up the Col de Palmarella at 408m, it was a great climb with fantastic views. Followed by Col de la Croix at 269m which was also a nice section.
But the best bit came just before Porto when we had the third climb which proved to be quite tough, and after coming around this bend we saw the most beautiful cliffs with a sheer drop to the sea. Despite the climbing the ride was really great. Camping was on the side of a steep hill, but the facilities were clean and we had great views of the surrounding hills.

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Heading inland early in the morning. Very early, as we just wanted to get out of that camping.

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Follow the sign.

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We got our first view of the Col, center of picture.

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We had to navigate around some cows.

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At the top I went and found this bus driver that came very close to Monique on one of the tight turns. I told him (quite loudly) that he should take a bit more care while passing cyclists on tight turns. I also took pictures of him and his bus and threatened to contact the company he was working for. I didn’t, hopefully the threat was enough.

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More great cycling after the first Col.

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Nice riding along the D81.

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It did start to drizzle while we were checking out the Golfe de Girolata.

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But it moved on by the second Col of the day.

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More great views inland. The village of Partinello is in the center. Click to view larger

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On top of the third climb of the day and the fantastic road on the side of the cliffs.

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Looking back.

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And a rare picture of the photographer/spouse enjoying the ride.

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More fantastic views, Porto is just around the corner.

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I wondered what that little red spot was on the side of the cliff so I zoomed in.

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And saw it was a car.

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This has been the most beautiful section of road we’ve ridden on so far.

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Looking back.

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View from our camping spot.

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Monique relaxing and enjoying the views with a cold one.

Day 32 – Saturday 29/05
Porto to Tiuccia – 55kms Total 1931kms

The day began with a 11km climb over the Col de Lava at 491m. It was very tough with some sections almost reaching 10%, but the views were some of the best so far. The most intersting part came just before the village of Piana with some very strange cliffs and rock formations. So far the Western coast of Corsica has been fantastic.
We passed by this camping that ANWB (Dutch camping guide) suggested but again it let us down, the place was under construction with very limited facilities and they were asking 20.50 euros LOL, we just got out of there.
Felt sorry about this Belgian family that had booked and paid for their vacation in advance and had to stay in that terrible place, while a bit further down the road was a real cool place for 15 euros but not recognized by ANWB only ADEC (German camping guide).

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Looking back at Porto. Immediately after leaving the climbing started.

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The road was great and we were happy we started early, before the tour buses started.

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Up and up we went.

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And the views just kept getting better.

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Near here we found out that this is a UNESCO site. Click to view larger.

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Just fantastic. Click to view larger.

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We were happy we made it to the top without having to worry about the dreaded tour buses.

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It didn’t take long before the mobs arrived.

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What else can we say, just great cycling.

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No comment.

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Just more great scenery.

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But all too soon and we had passed the area and were greeted to one of the most beautiful downhill rides of the tour so far.

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At the bottom of the hill was this beautiful bay with Club Med Cargese. We didn’t stay there 🙂

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In the evening we took our bikes and rode the couple of kilometers to a sea front restaurant for dinner and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

Day 33 – Sunday 30/05
Tiuccia – Rest day.

Stayed one more day here, Monique had a problem with her back and this is a pretty good camping so we decided to stay. I also needed to update the webpage.
We did pretty much nothing today just lay around and chat with the neighbors.

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View from our camping. Click to view larger.

Day 37 – Monday 31/05
Tiuccia to Verghia – 53kms Total 1984kms

Again today started with a good stiff climb, perfect to sweat out all the alcohol from the previous rest day.
The only problem was the traffic which got real bad the closer we got to Ajaccio. It was also pretty bad getting through this town but with a bit of perseverance we managed ok.
The weather was also not so nice with nasty looking clouds and heavy seas.
We passed a few campsites to get to this one on the promise from a billboard that this one would be on the sea  but that was a lie. Camping is ok though.

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Not a day to be on the beach.

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Looking back down at Golgu di Liscia.

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Looking back at (grey) Ajaccio.

Day 38 – Tuesday 01/06
Verghia to (near) Propriano – 48kms Total 2032kms

Got up this morning feeling good, but then the hills started and man what hills. Up and down we went all day with many hills averaging 10%, the whole day. There was this one exceptional hill right after Portigliolo, that must have been over 14% at one point and we had to walk the bikes for about 50m.
This day was the toughest of this tour by far, but we managed ok, by stopping to drink and eat often.
The original plan was to cycle within 20kms of Bonifacio than catch the ferry the following day to Sardinia, but we changed it after finding out there is a boat from Propriano to Porto Torres leaving on Thursday.
The main reason for this change is that there is only one road going to Bonifacio and that is the very busy N196 and we do not care to share the road with many trucks going at speed and hills in-between.
So tomorrows plan is to cycle to the port and get tickets to Porto Torres.
Again camping here (as recommended by ANWB) is a disappointment, they claim to be open from 1st of April but still they don’t have any restaurant, mini market and bar as they claim.
Also another milestone today we passed 2000kms  😉

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Looking back at Ajaccio on a clear morning from the top of the first hill of the day. Click to view larger.

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The 2000kms mark, unfortunately this computers only get to 999.99 before resetting to zero.

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Looking back after another steep climb.

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Another beautiful bay before Serra di-Ferro. Click to view larger.

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Took a break at this bar near Serra di-Ferro.

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With great views like this, what more could we ask for? How about a brand new road. Click to view larger.

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After Serra-di-Ferro.

Day 39 – Wednesday 02/06
Propriano camp to Propriano port – 8kms Total 2040kms

Could not have gone smoother today. We had a small climb than a great downhill to get to the port were we found the tourist office which was very helpful in showing us where the ticket office for the boat is and where is a cheapish hotel.
Anyway we did a bunch of chores and now just chilling with a few drinks, tomorrow its off to Sardinia.

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Propriano harbor.

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Propriano harbor.

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Propriano harbor from our hotel room. Click to view larger.

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Another great sunset from our hotel room this time.

Corsica was one of the highlights of this tour. One could easily spend two weeks touring this island. We think the best time would be mid to end of September when the tourist hoards have left and the waters are still warm to swim in. We will definitely be coming back to this beautiful island.

Continue on to the next page, Sardinia, Italy.