Mare-e-Monti Girolata to Curzu warning

jsoap

Posted: Mon, Jun 4, 2012, 13:01

There are 2 routes for the section Girolata to Curzu. Either via Punta di Capu Tondu (main) or Bocca a Croce (variant). We chose the longer route, which proved to be much tougher than expected. Contary to ascent/decents posted elsewhere, this is a total of 1300m ascent and 1200m descent, with little shade.
In addtion the middle section along the ridge, is badly overgrown, which makes it difficult to tell the difference between the main trail and the animal tracks. We must have backtracked to relocate the trail at least 20 times. At the Curzu end of the ridge, someone has started to put up red/white emergency tape on the bushes, which helped alot, but this is only for a short section.
Generally the time given for this is 6-6.5hrs. It took us 9hrs (including breaks) - and it wasn't that hot.

Talking to other hikers, confirmed that newer French books describe the variant via Bocca a Croce as the main route, and don't even refer to route via Punta di Capu Tondu. We were also told that locally the route has been dropped 3 years ago, due to hikers getting into difficulty.



Gaffr

Posted: Mon, Jun 4, 2012, 16:57

Hello,
I did not know about this problem with the Tondu section. When we chose which way to go from Girolata we went for the coastal route up to Bocca a Croce so that we could have a swim in the Tuara bay and we were told that there was a refreshment cabin at the road crossing. I recall a pleasant uphill from the bocca with good views to where we joined the route from Capu di Curzu before dropping down into the Curzu village which was a welcoming place.
Sounds from what you say to have been a fortunate decision.
Many thanks for the info.

--

Gaffr



JenM

Posted: Sun, Jun 10, 2012, 11:45

Interesting post! We have just had a very similar experience hiking the original, longer leg from Girolata to Curzu. The Cicerone guide was pretty brief on its description but we too had anticipated a 6-hour hike - on average, we had been at least a half hour ahead of time on previous stages and consider ourselves strong walkers but this route was incredibly tough: it took us 8 hours to complete, the uphill slog seemed greater than described and like you we found the path difficult to spot with faded paint and overgrown tracks. We too had to backtrack several times. I would also add that we found the terrain underfoot hard going with exposed ridges and loose scree, causing a few tumbles. We observed that no one else hiking from gite to gite took our route (they all followed the variant) and I would strongly recommend others do the same!!



Steve Dan

Posted: Sat, May 16, 2015, 17:13

I spoke with a Portuguese walker while in Serriara. He had walked the orignal high route via Punta di Capu Tondu and had a similar tale to tell. Loosing the path and stumbling his way to Curzu had taken him the best part of ten hours, to arrive in darkness to find the gite shut for the night.
On the plus side, he simply unbarred the dorm door for a bed, and helped himself to a couple of beers from the outdoor bar
I myself walked the variant via Tuara and Bocca del Croce because I wanted to get toSerriara that night and also because I'd read the posts. Did have a quick look around where the routes join but saw no sign of the original trail.
Steve.



zen64

Posted: Tue, Jun 16, 2015, 9:50

Hi Steve, how long did it take you to do Girolata to Serriara in one go? Was planning on taking the variant route anyway, and am also hoping to shorten the trip by a day. What walking times were you averaging for the other legs?
Thanks



Steve Dan

Posted: Tue, Jun 16, 2015, 21:51

Hello Zen64
I'm a birder as well as a walker, so my pace is quite leisurely.
It took me a comfortable eight and a half hours to reach Serriara, spending quite some time along the ridge above Bocca de Croce. In general, I'd take eight to nine hours over the day's walk.
At the nightly gathering of treckers , the subject of walking times did crop up, the consensus being that most stages were aroud six hours, adding a couple of hours to enjoy whatever was along the trail, be it veiws, river pools, the beaches or trying to identify birds, butterflys and flowers. Some walked it more quickly, others took even more time.
I'ts a beautifull trail, certainly not one to be rushed.
When do you start?
Steve



zen64

Posted: Wed, Jun 17, 2015, 13:44

Thanks Steve.
Fly into Bastia Sept 13th. I have a spare day on the trip, and am trying to decide whether to use it for a day in Bastia or Calvi at the start, or a rest day in Galeria or Girolata. Any recommendations?
Clive



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Jun 18, 2015, 7:29

One of the highlights of the M e M Nord was the stage between Galeria and Girolata.
Girolata can only be reached on foot or by boat. It caters for the boating folks anchored up for the night in the bay, day trippers in by boat from Porto and of course randonneurs on the mmulti day route and day-trippers in from the D81. Several restaurants and a couple of Gites. Could be a bit quieter in September. It was the third week of may when we were there. Camped behind the Gite close to the jetty.

--

Gaffr



Steve Dan

Posted: Thu, Jun 18, 2015, 9:44

Clive
Of the two towns, Calvi certainly has the edge over Bastia. A lovely long beach, options for daywalks, the town and citadel are very picturesque. Also, the Corsican polyphonic festival is starting there on the 15th, so there's sure to be a buzz around the place. If there's any pre-event concerts happening , I'd certainly try and take one in. Check for posters in town, or ask around if your French is up to it.
On the trail, Girolata has an atmosphere all of it's own, and would be the perfect place to take the pack off for a day. I rather liked the look of the secluded cove down below the trail on the approach to the village.Don't know how to get to it,but it did look nice. It's also worth remembering that in mid September the sea will still be warm.And Gaffr's right about the stage.Galeria to Girolata is thing of beauty.
Have you considered throwing in another double stage, you could then spend time in both places
Steve