I’m excited to jump on a ferry and head to the island of corsica (corse). The town of pisa is only 30 minutes from the port. So once I made that stop. I headed straight for the ferry.
I woke up and didn’t eat anything, nor did I grab something from pisa, so I’m hangry! The ferry’s say I have to be there an hour and half early. Since I’ve never done this thats exactly what i’m going to do. I pulled up following the signs and saw some vehicles parked, still I asked the attendant if this is the spot? In English! Then i said do you speak english? He just yelled at me a few different times in italian, each time saying louder something I couldn’t understand. So instead of continuing to listen I rode past him and parked behind these motorhomes.
As I waited I grabbed something to eat and sure enough within a half hour we were being told move. So I’m glad I made it on time! There were what seemed like a hundreds of cars and motorhomes and only a few motorcycles, so with ease we were able to make it up front.
As we pulled away ferries were coming in and out. These all carry vehicles. It’s definitely a great way to get around all the islands.
It was a warm day, the water was a beautiful blue color and their were a few of these smaller inhabited islands along the way.
Arriving to the port I was getting anxious. What is this island going to be like? It belongs to france, so i’ll have to go back to speaking french horribly! I did find out that Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the island.
I found an airbnb, as once again it’s proving to be the cheapest way to go. The room was $23 and right on the beach. My navigation, which is now working again, ended up taking me about a 1/2 mile in the wrong direction. So after finding the place I pulled up and met Evelyn and her son who was playing in the yard.
After showing me the room, Evelyn asked if I wanted to go kayaking in the ocean?….Yes absolutely!
I could not asked for a better way to arrive then to jump in to a cool sea, and kayak during sunset. On one end the sunrise, the other, the moon rising up bigger then I’ve seen in it in a long time. It was the perfect setting!
Here’s an introduction to their flag. Yes it’s on a bottle cap!
The Flag of Corsica was adopted by General of the Nation Pasquale di Paoli in 1755 and was based on a traditional flag used previously. It portrays a Moor’s Head in black wearing a white bandana above his eyes on a white background. Previously, the bandana covered his eyes; Paoli wanted the bandana moved to above the eyes to symbolise the liberation of the Corsican people. (Wikipedia)
If that doesn’t say rebel I don’t know what does! Evelyn gave me little insight as to what the island is like, and who “actually” runs it. This is one of their beers, as 1735 was their liberation from genoa!
There are two departments northern corsica and southern corsica and each side represents different parts of the island, “these” Folks, seem to call the shots. What she told me is they want to conserve the island. Which is evident of the fact that there are no nightclubs on the island. It is an island that is pretty much untouched from the party enthusiasts.
As a matter of fact on that very same beach I was on, their was a nightclub which had “mysteriously” burned down. I walked up to it to find the ceiling collapsed and the insides toasted! Yep preserve the beauty of the island or…………………
I spent most of my afternoons and evenings on this beach. It was a quiet and long beach. After I went and bought new shorts. It was time!!!
I helped Evelyn and her son build a hut.
One of the bests things about Airbnb is that if you stay in someones house with them, they can give you ideas of where to go. Evelyn said this was her favorite spot on the island.
Can you see why? We had to drive up into the mountains about 20 minutes and then hike about 10 from the road to get there.
In order for her to show me this place she had to do what she has become an expert in, hitchhiking. She is no slouch to adventure traveling as she and her friend hitchhiked for 15 days through Europe. You can read her adventures here (Vagabond) if you speak italian.
So I waited at the gas station as she and her son flagged down some people in motorhomes. BAM! Ride!
We made our way to the waterfall and she convinced them to join us so they did. Two families from switzerland follow a gypsy biker and hitchhiker. LOVE IT!!!
It was an awesome view and a cooling swim in the clearest of waters.
I stayed for a few days and realized that even the simplest of interactions with people are highlighted when you travel alone. Before this last few days of staying with Evelyn and her son. From Venice through florence, I didn’t meet too many people. I can handle being on my own but I feed off other peoples energy so even just a simple hi and conversation with this family was nice in the restaurant I was eating. Their kids do skeet shooting for competition from what I gathered, and they travel for it. Corsica was just their vacation.
I enjoyed the leisure time on the east side of Corsica. To tell you the truth I don’t even know what town I was in. In some ways I prefer that. All that mattered to me was it was with good people and that it was a kick back time. Isn’t that what truly matters the people around you.
On may last day Evelyn had some other guests show up. A french dad and his two daughters. We were able to hangout for a night and try to communicate. Always fun to meet strangers that are willing to engage in whatever conversation possible.
Evelyn was an awesome host, very sweet and welcoming. Her son was a cool kid just playing all day outside. Remember that? He had no TV, or video games. He liked to make potions. Water, with soda or whatever liquid he could find, and Evelyn spent her day cleaning up after him 🙂
That being said the road was calling so I took off to the north west corner of corsica!
I rode over the top of corsica and headed towards a national park on my way to the town of Calvi! I don’t know where I’m staying yet but the plan is to camp somewhere near a beach.
I rolled through tiny town after tiny town in what seemed like a high desert and almost camped at a national park. The campsites were full and I wasn’t feeling a couple of them, so I took off and decided to keep riding to Calvi. The national park had what seemed like amazing hikes, but I wasn’t prepared to do long hikes. Oh well! I can put it on the list of hikes to do!
As I rode into calve this was my view:
As I got closer here is the town:
I ended up finding a campsite and since it was getting dark, I had no choice but to fork out $50 to camp in the last campsite available. I found my way to calve with a map and I wasn’t about to keep riding around to find the cheapest campsite. So I stayed in the ‘village’ reluctantly. It was next to the beach, but I was irritated at all the prices.
It didn’t take me long, I decided I leave the next day and head south. The beaches were packed and nobody puts Scott in a corner 🙂
On my out of town I stopped at a church on the hill above town:
Here’s the Corsica Army conspiring!
You can see them up at the top. I think there talking about the south.
As I made my way south I ventured off a few times up some dirt roads! Especially if I saw abandon buildings. On this particular one, I climbed pretty high then proceeded to drop the iron camel a few times! YEP! It felt like Moab again. I wish I would of taken pictures but in my own shame I picked the bike up quickly like someone was watching, not a soul was around! Until I hiked through the area and saw two military guys in a jeep smoking. Yeah I thought out in the middle of nowhere and I’m American, I’m out! I ninjud my way back down! I know NINJUD is not a word but I did!!!!!
The ride was incredible with huge cliff sides, and rural mountain areas!
Yeah….. I interrupt my normal programming to give you a 2 minute video with a song that interprets my heart beat when I ride in areas like this:
Corsica has prehistoric feel to it and I can’t compare it to other places I’ve seen although I’m not trying, just enjoying it as much as possible.
I rode for 6 hours along these cliffs stopping here an there for picture….
I rode until the sun was going down and until I saw signs for a campsite. I thought if I see one up in the mountains I’m stopping and the last thing i want is to be stuck in a corner.
I found this one…..
A nice view of the sea…
and the town of Ajaccio, Napoleons home town! It is also the capital.
It was half the cost of the last one, peaceful with a great pool bar and restaurant. I stayed only for a night but enjoyed a mojito for the first time. I don’t think I’ve had one in the last 5 years or so. It was quite refreshing.
That night I was awoken by what sounded like bombs, only to open my tent and see fireworks going off in the city below. I must of been in a daze, I stood up, still in my tent with my head out, for what must of been 20 minutes, watching fireworks that seemed to be coming right at me. Or maybe it was the mojito!!!!! Still it was a nice rest in the cool Corsica mountains.
I was told to go to Bonifacio which is the southern most city in Corsica. It’s also a port. I made arrangements with another ferry to get me to Sardinia. I decided I would skip southern france and head straight for Barcelona. Which means I have to take a 12 hour ferry from Sardinia to Spain. Hmmmm!?? Sardinia! Whats that like? I booked the tickets which is non-refundable for the next day and was off again.
I went down through the town of Ajaccio and it was a mad house. I had tentative plans to stop in Napoleons home, but it was closed until 2pm and my ferry was at 5pm.
So as the ride went on there were more cliff sides with these towers, which, were there to spot any danger coming. They were created between 1530 and 1620 constructed by the republic of genoa.
There were more small towns on the mountain sides…
It doesn’t matter where you go on the island the rides are epic!
Getting into Bonifacio was no different, its a town tucked in between some canyons. This is the place I should have stayed as it seemed to have a very Mediterranean feel to it. This is not my photo but it gives you a great idea!
I arrived 3 hours early so I ate lunch and wandered around the city on the cliffs.
This view was from the cliff side…
This was looking down. It was crazy as the buildings were set up right against the edge.
The Marina housed probably some of the fanciest yachts I’ve seen!
The pictures don’t tell you how big they actually were!
Corsica was amazing. It had beautiful beaches, water, intrigue, mystery, and history! Like most places I visit they deserve more time then I give. This is the ride I choose, keep on keepin on!
The ferry has arrived and this time I charged my Gopro! So it’s back Si Si…..see you in Sardinia!