June 2011

Corsica – The GR20 : Calenzana to Conca

(Excerpts from my walking diary)

Getting to the start

The GR20’s reputation as a tough long distance trail is justified. It is not just that some sections are individually difficult, but the accumulative effect of walking broken ground on steep ascents and descents is extremely tiring. That said it is an adventure well worth undertaking and Corsica is outstandingly beautiful.

Getting to Calanzana is the first puzzle to overcome. I got a bus ticket from the railway station, initially to Calvia, but we got off just the other side of Lumio.

Heading into Calanzana

Incorrectly we were told there was a bus from here to Calanzana, however we ended up walking it.- about 8 km after witnessing one of the most violent thunderstorms I’ve ever seen. The roads became rivers and the lightning strikes sounded ominously close. Not what I expected on my first day, but spectacular never the less.

The campsite

The campsite which is found as you enter the village is great. A kitchen with everything you need and level pitches for the tent (watch the ants!). It gets crowded though as each days set of walkers arrive so its worth eating early and then cruising the village. Paddys guide book suggests spending more than a day here and I can endorse this. Wandering the surrounding lanes and countryside is relaxing and calming and great for a bit of introspection.  Calenzana is a lovely village and the surrounding area has its own charms. If you have your trad rack, a spot of peak bagging is worthwhile as the mountains surrounding Calanzana are stunning.

The Refuge

The store in the village has plenty of goodies, but at a price. We brought plenty of bits with us so it was just fresh stock we bought. A tip – under the sink at the campsite are loads of plastic kerosene/meths bottles. This is because you have to buy large bottles and most people dont travel with that much. So help yourself! I left half of mine there.



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