Korsika, June 2020 − Travels − Captain Tom

Korsika, June 2020

Finally out after all those crazy Covid-19 months. The spring tour had to be cancelled and months of crazy restrictions are behind us, the disputes with ferry and airline companies is not over but now we are finally allowed to get out again. And before the summer holidays start, we want to enjoy a week in Corsica. There were some adversities: Two days before departure, the ferry crossing from Savona is cancelled. So we had to rebook quickly to go via Livorno and had to look for a new parking place there. Because of different ferry times this means two additional nights on the island and very exhausting journey to and from the island. Then we also find out that in Italy, there are only three persons allowed per car. We are four. So we had to go with two cars. In the end the four of us (Marcellus, Beat, Andi and me) make it to the island and have a nice week with (almost too) warm weather, great scenery and best French food. Besides we find a very nice hotel in the very north of the island.

Again Marcellus from Extreme Tours organized the week and with a little improvisation everything worked out very well again.

It was actually too late in the year and already very hot. That's why we moved some of the routes from the coast to the mountains. It' s cooler there and you can find very nice roads.

1 The journey to Corsica

The journey is very exhausting. I drive about 440 miles by motorcycle from Berlin to the Ammersee lake. Marcellus and Andi are waiting there for me. The bike comes to the other two on the trailer and on it goes to Beat in Switzerland. His motorbike gets on the trailer too and then we drive the 500 miles overnight to Livorno. There we arrive in the early morning and later in the morning we take the ferry to Bastia. At noon around 1 pm we get off the ferry and we drive directly north into the mountains to a nice hotel at Cap Corse.

On my way I get washed by heavy rain showers
Loading at Marcellus' place
Ready for departure
Some maintenance works at Beat's place. The new GPS device needs to be mounted
Beat's bike gets onto the trailer
Arrival in Livorno
The ferry is in the port
Beat, Andi and Tom waiting for embarkment
We get onto the ferry
Land ahoy - Corsica ahead
Waiting for disembarkment
Leaving the ferry
2 Bastia-Ersa

We drive only 45 miles from Bastia to the north of the island to Ersa

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View back to Bastia just minutes after leaving the ferry
The ferry in the port
First coffee break at the coast line
Nice view
We get coffee in a winery with a wine shop
A ferry on the sea
At the northernmost point in Barcaggio we see the island Île de la Giraglia
A beautiful motor boat in the harbour of Barcaggio
Our hotel is located up in the moutains
The first beer for Beat and Tom and the tracklog of the day gets created
Nice food for dinner
3 Ersa-Calvi

It goes from Ersa to Calvi and we meander a little in the northern tip of the island before we ride through the mountains to the very northwest.

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Ersa in the morning - the cats are already awake
Everywhere defence and watchtowers
The hotel in the morning
Ersa is a tiny old village
Winding alleys
At the first coffee break we make a new friend
Coffee break
Plage de Nonza with Tour Paoline de Nonza
Beat enjoys the view
Bocca di Menola
Below at the coast line Saint-Florent
Nice stop below sycamore trees at church ...
... San Michele
In the evening there is good French food in the port of Calvi
And the sunset produces something like Alps glow
4 Loop southwest of Calvi

We do a big loop to the southwest through the mountains and along the coast and also pass the red rocks Les Calanques de Piana. The coastal road at the end is so bumpy that we exclude it for the future.

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In the morning I have to fly a round over the harbour and the fortress of Calvi
Aviator Tom on the pier
On Col de Salvi we have a beautiful view back to Calvi
Fortress Calvi
The Col de Vergio is one of the highest passes on the island. Last year we had snow here in April
Pigs are there
Col de Vergio
Us four on Col de Vergio
Amazing rocks on Bocca di Cascia
Lunch in Porto
We first drive through Piana and further down to the beach Plage d'Arone. On the way back we stop at a viewpoint
View to Les Calanques de Piana
Coast line
Les Calanques de Piana
Porto ahead
Another flight over Porto
Nice tuna tartar in the evening in Calvi
5 Calvi-Zonza

We move to the south of the island to Zonza. On the way there we first drive along the west coast and then through the mountains. The valley Vallée de la Restonica offers beautiful nature and a very rustic lunch at a hut, which we could not reach during the previous tours due to closed roads.

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On the Col de Palmarella the bullet holes on the signs surprise
The red rocks are reflected in the calm sea
Col du Palmarella
We go over Col de Verio again
Ponte Altu
We go through gorge Scala di Santa Regina
Vallée de la Restonica
Lunch at a hut at the end of the Vallée de la Restonica
Other guests
Us four
Rock against tree
Bullet holes
On the Bocca di Verde, the green pass, we get the afternoon coffee
Pigs are there too
In the evening we arrive at the Hotel Le Tourisme in Zonza
Dinner in Zonza
Marcellus takes this photo of the fading twilight in Zonza
6 Zonza-Western loop

The round to the west leads us to the island capital Ajaccio. It is very hot and we drive quite quickly back into the mountains. We leave out the western tip of the coast.

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Nice view to the mountains on Col de la Vacchia
In a pig breeding cooperative we taste the many varieties of ham and sausage
New to me and quite nice is Bocca di Scalella
Col de Saint Eustache demands a flight
This street loop will soon be inaccessible. A shortcut has been cut through the rock.
7 Zonza-South Western loop

The southwest route will lead to Bonifacio and then continue along the coast. However, we have modified the route because of the heat in order to get back into the mountains quickly.

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First stop is at Lac de L'Ospedale. It's very quiet and beautiful there.
At the viewpoint L'Ospedale you can see the coast and in the distance the port of Porto-Vecchio
Bonifacio. From the ground rather not spectacular
A seagull watches us
Bonifacio with the stairs to the sea Escalier du Roy d'Aragon - the stairs of the King of Aragon
The ferry from Sardinia arrives
On the Bocca di Roccapina we not only have a beautiful view, but also get our morning coffee
Bocca di Roccapina
At noon we find an inconspicuous from the outside, fine, very nice but also quite expensive restaurant
Lunch in the garden
Nice desert
In the evening I have a flight around the Hotel Le Tourisme in Zonza
8 Zonza-Bastia

It's going back already. But because of the changed ferry connection we have a full day and the evening in Bastia. Main destination today is the Asco Valley. Like the Vallée de la Restonica this is a dead end - but much longer

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First we pass Col de Bavella
Notre-Dame-des-Neiges on Col de Bavella
We get our morning coffee under a fig tree
The bar keeper ...
... seems to like soccer quite much
We are in Asco Valley
We get our lunch half the way up
The upper end of the Asco Valley
The Asco stream
Back to Bastia
The old harbour of Bastia
We have dinner directly at the edge of the inner harbour
Food - still alive
Food on the table
9 The journey back

The journey back is again very exhausting. The ferry leaves at 8 in the morning and we have to be there at 7 at the latest. At noon the ferry is in Livorno. Then the trailer is to be loaded and we drive the 500 miles back to Germany with a stopover in Switzerland to drop off Beat. At two in the night we are in bed. Then it goes directly on Sunday morning on the bike further back to Berlin.

Sunrise in Bastia - a ferry arrives
Morning in Bastia
We are at the ferry
The ferry gets unloaded
Farewell to Bastia
Loading the trailer in Livorno
Farewell from Marcellus and Andi the next morning
Back to Berlin
10 Our Target area

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