Guide life. It is all fun and games until it comes to having a week off in the main season. But there is always a way to make summer a little bit longer if you travel somewhere else. And I can see only the positive sides of it – you see a new part of the world, there are much fewer tourists and the prices of the accommodation are much more reasonable.
I was visiting Corsica about 10 years ago when I started my canyoning “career”. I did just two canyons at that time so I said I will return there again. And it seemed like a good idea to do it this year. It turned out true.
We started the trip on the magnificent west coast. The roads are narrow, curvy and it takes ages to get somewhere. I must say that I somehow missed my New Zealand’s “car-mate” Primož, who is much more into fast driving then I am. Not to mention that I figured out that one of my tires is leaking, so I had to stop at every petrol station to inflate it. Thank god I also posses the portable air compressor so I can inflate the tyre in the middle of nowhere. It took us two days to fix the leak since it was a weekend and nobody was working. I guess all are busy “weekend warrioring” on the island. 🙂 When we finally got to the tire technician he fixed the puncture in no time and we were good to go. A big rock was rolled away from my heart as we are saying in Slovenia. Next stop:
Bonifacio and Capo Pertusato
Rising from the white limestone cliff is a medieval town called Bonifacio. This is for sure the biggest attraction on Corsica. It was windy and rainy on the day of our visit, but there was still a fair amount of visitors that were admiring the sight. The town itself is nice, but if you have the time, I suggest you take about two-hour hike to the lighthouse Phare de Pertusato and enjoy the breathtaking scenery at the peninsula.
Col de Bavella
After a couple of days driving around with a small amount of physical activity, it was time to change the travel style. We established our “basecamp” at the Camping U Ponte Grossu (strongly recommended camp) and were headed for a day trips to surrounding sights. We both agreed that this is the most beautiful part of the island and that we want to stay there for a longer time. Winding road takes you to the mountain pass with breathtaking views to the west and east coast.
From the first time I was on Corsica, I remembered that there is one “must-do” canyon on the island. It is called Purcaraccia and it is a really pleasant sight for your eyes. Open canyon, with polished granite rock and stunning green pools. One hour and a half approach is worth it, despite the fact that the canyon is a little short (it took us about 2 hours). I had a small accident, I slipt on a slippery rock and hit the ground hard together with Peli case that protects my camera. The impact was so hard that the camera refused to cooperate and take photos. That’s why the photos from the most interesting part are missing. But later on I managed to fix it and I was happy photographer again 🙂
After my first visit to the island, there were three other canyons on my to-do list. One of them was Vacca canyon. I thought we might be able to squeeze Vacca and Purcaraccia into one day, but due to morning dew and cold air, none of us was really motivated to put our nose out of the tent before 9 am. And that meant that there is no way of doing both on the same day. It also turned out that hiking part of Vacca is not to be underestimated…
So few words about Vacca – really nice canyon, which can be done without a single rope, if you are a keen jumper and are willing to do one tricky downclimb. The hike-in is actually a descend. Then you go through the not-so-narrow canyon which takes two hours. After the long swimming passage the canyon opens up and on the river right you can see the piles of stones which mark the way out. And the hike out is a tail of its own… It is so steep that it could easily be Via Ferrata. The body is weeping below the weight of heavy backpacks with the wet gear and if you lose your balance you could easily end up a few hundred meters lower. But the view… The view is really breathtaking. For sure the best hike-out of the canyon I had ever had (excluding the ones where your car is parked just next to the exit :P). Not to mention it was my birthday on that day. This trip was like a perfect birthday gift.
So my verdict is: if you are on Corsica and you hesitate doing Vacca because of a long and punishing hike-out… Do it. Even the hike out is worth it.
Restonica and Corte
I would be lying if I would say that we always got the best of days. After few days Col de Bavella and its surroundings it was time to move to Restonica. We went for a hike to the lake at the end of Restonica valley. But the colours were really boring so I didn’t bother to take photos. I was also not in a good mood so I wasn’t much of a company. But that’s life.. After a hike, we made a short stop in Restonica gorge and made a couple of shots. On the following day, we went for a walk in town Corte and moved north-bound.
The worst things about holidays is that they always end. And this Corsica trip was not an exception. After a week we had to slowly return to Bastia and board the ship back to the continent. But we had a couple more hours to spare so we went to see the attractions in the Cap Corse. First stop was picturesque fisherman village Erbalunga followed by ruins of Genovese tower few clicks north from Macinaggio. Just a 45 minute hike and we were there…