Help! Walking holiday cancelled ...

johnnyhamster

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2013, 17:12

Hi

I booked a holiday with Europe-Active for 16th June, six days walking Calvi to Monte Cinto with taxi transfer back to Ponte Leccia. Unfortunately they've just informed me that the trip won't be running due to insufficient numbers. I've been offered a refund, but would hate to pass the opportunity of walking in Corsica. I'm a fit 50 year old male, traveling solo.
I've been offered a refund, or a tailor-made unguided trip, but I don't think my wife would be happy with me walking alone, so I'm a bit stuck unless I join an existing group.

Can anyone offer any suggestions / know of any other guided walks ? I have EasyJet flights from Gatwick to Bastia, arrive 09:30 Sunday 16th - depart Sunday 23rd 10:00 . Hotel booked near the airport for the night of June 22nd

I'd be desperately disappointed if I had to cancel.

Johnny



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2013, 19:30

June?

--

Alan



johnnyhamster

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2013, 20:11


Gaffr

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2013, 21:11

I guess that it is tough to find this out at the eleventh hour. The idea of a hybrid route combining bits of the Mare e Monti and the GR20 seems sound enough for a short holiday on the island especially so with Cintu as the final day. Sounds like the first stage of MM with the liason up to Carozzu and the third stage of the GR20 and then Cintu from Haut Ascu.
Most of the folks who use this forum are either doing/have done the full 15 stages of the GR20 or the 9 Northern stages to Vizzavona or the six Southern stages to Conca.
For each of these three holidays folks carry usually a full camping kit or slightly lighter no tent but book accommodation in the refuges....mostly self suffient over the journey but purchasing where possible at the refuges,hotel or bergeries en route.
Alternative could be maybe six of the 10 stages of the Mare e Monti (which you could manage on your own) from Calenzana to Serriera and then get the Porto bus back to Calvi? The accommodation is good at each of the Stage finishes. Maybe around a kilometre or so down to the road where the bus can be boarded below Serriera.

--

Gaffr



Joanna

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2013, 23:33

You won't be walking alone in late June! There are lots of people walking the trails in June, so even if you go on your own, you're not alone... And quite a number of people go on their own as well.



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Fri, May 17, 2013, 6:57

Johnny

There are some walkers forums you can try if you want someone to share a DIY walking holiday. Try www.walkingforum.co.uk. There's also this organised trip: http://www.worldexpeditions.com/uk/index.php?section=trips&id=805863

--

Alan



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Fri, May 17, 2013, 8:26

Johnny

Here's a possible itinerary for you if you want to give it a go yourself:

Bus to Bastia from the airport & train to Calvi on Sunday afternoon
Taxi to Calenzana & stay at the Gite d'etap in the village
Follow the GR20 from the start in Calenzana on Monday
Monday night – Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu
Tuesday night – Refuge de Carrozzu
Wedneday night – Refuge d'Asco Stagnu at Haut Asco
Thursday night – Refuge de Tighjettu or Bergeries de Ballone
Friday night – Hotel di Verghio
Saturday – get the bus/navette down to Corte and on to Bastia
Sunday shuttle bus back to the airport

--

Alan



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, May 17, 2013, 9:55

Johnny,

There is a guided group that is doing part of the GR20 16-23 June. Here is the LINK
But the price is pretty steep: € 1165. But if you badly need a group to join, I think you should give it a thought.

EDIT:
or THIS for € 785 (but you should check the dates: they start every Saturday from June thru September).

--Michele



johnnyhamster

Posted: Sat, May 18, 2013, 20:38

Thanks for the suggestions, I'm waiting for replies from a couple of companies, but the E785 suggestion from Michele sounds a possibility. I'll give all my options some serious thought this week.



johnnyhamster

Posted: Sun, May 19, 2013, 18:55

I've found a guided walk starting 16th June for Montagne a Mer (http://www.couleur-corse.com) which looks ideal, but starts 8am Sunday morning in Ajaccio with a minibus to the start-point at Calacuccia. I arrive at Bastia airport at 9.30am the same day, so wouldn't be able to make this, but could probably get a train to Corte and meet up either there or Calacuccia.
According to the timetable, there's a train from Bastia to Corte at 10:17 - I can't see myself getting that, unless the train waits for the airport navette. Is this likely?
Alternatively, would I be able to get a taxi from airport to Borgo or Casamozza and pick up the train from there? I'm sure I read somewhere that the trains don't necessarily stop at smaller stations unless you wave madly and lay on the line. Otherwise it's a long wait in Bastia or Ponte-Leccia for an evening arrival.

On the other hand, I don't suppose there's a Sunday bus service ? .. and what's the probability of hitching a lift from Corte to Calacuccia on a Sunday afternoon / evening?



Gaffr

Posted: Mon, May 20, 2013, 6:19

Hello JH,
I have the same timing problem with the wee train. I am going round to Calvi after a Sunday arrival at Poretta Bastia. My arrival time of (1045) makes it impossible to get to the Casamozza 1045 Sunday early train so seven hours until the 1700 train. I guess that you would have a chance of making it to the early 'circulate on Sundays' train. I see that Casamozza is not one of the 'stop on request stations'. So no lying around on the track at this one.
Buses don't seem to run on Sunday.
The road up to the Calacuccia area from Corte is a 'smaller road'. Maybe not too much traffic on this but as the summer comes along....more opportunities?

--

Gaffr



Gaffr

Posted: Mon, May 20, 2013, 10:18

Sunday bus services.....looks as if there is a Sunday bus running up/down the East coast...Porto Vecchio/Bastia on a Sunday after the 15th of June....maybe you could check for other routes but not so sure of these operating?

--

Gaffr



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Tue, May 21, 2013, 12:22

Johnny

Would the walking holiday operators be willing to pick you up from the train station at Punte Leccia?

If not, there's a taxi service listed on the Corsica Bus web site:

http://www.corsicabus.org/busPLeccia/PLeccia_Gites.html

--

Alan



johnnyhamster

Posted: Tue, May 21, 2013, 15:50

Think I'll go with the less strenuous Calacuccia to Porto walk, although I still need to get to Calacuccia for Sunday evening. I can get to Corte on the morning train from Bastia, so it's just a point of either paying 110 euro for a taxi, or hitching a lift. It doesn't look too far on the IGN map, but guess it's a day's walk if you head west up the Travignano and then over the top to Calacuccia.

Do facilities in Corte open on Sundays? In my experience, small French towns are generally very sleepy on a Sunday, but as this is a hub for hikers, would hope things may be a bit more active .



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Tue, May 21, 2013, 16:41

Punta Leccia still looks like a better bet for hitching.

There's a supermarket open there at least. It was open 3 years ago on a Sunday.

--

Alan



Gaffr

Posted: Tue, May 21, 2013, 17:12

It is a bonny walk up the Tavignano valley to Sega refuge and over the bocca a l'Arinella, where there is a good view of the South side of Monte Cintu, before dropping down to Calacuccia.
I guess that the train will arrive to Corte at around midday. With a light load? it would be a fine afternoon with a bit of evening walking! This is all part of the Mare a Mare Nord route which is probably what you will be doing, mostly,? down to Porto. I enjoyed this section of MM Nord.
My wee French guide to this section of the route gives for Corte to Sega at montee of 716mtrs, and a time of 5hrs 30. Sega to Calacuccia is given a 4 hours time with 547mtrs of ascent and 883mtrs of descent. Maybe a bit generous.

--

Gaffr



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Tue, May 21, 2013, 19:24

Gaffr

That sounds like a lovely route but the train gets into Corte at 18:16. I still think Ponte Leccia is a better option in this case. The train gets in there at 17:36. As far as I can work out, that's about 12km from Calacuccia (about the same from Corte). That's walkable in about 3 hours.

I'm heading that way at the end of August but we should be on the earlier train.

--

Alan



Gaffr

Posted: Tue, May 21, 2013, 20:02

Hello JH,
I was just pondering where your route for your holiday will take you. I guess that at sometime during your journey you will arrive to Evisa and then more logically to reach the Porto area you will then follow the Mare e Monti route down to the sea rather than the Mare a Mare Nord....it was a while ago when I travelled these routes so I had to separate my thoughts of the two route since they do merge at Evisa for the final couple of days after which they both end/or begin down at Cargese.

--

Gaffr



johnnyhamster

Posted: Tue, May 21, 2013, 22:05

@TT - I didn't even consider alighting at Ponte Leccia, but will take a look on the map and give it some thought. Either way, I'll be knackered as I'm catching a 1 a.m. coach from Southampton, arriving Gatwick 04:30 for a 06:30 flight, so not much sleep the night before! I'll be needing to stop somewhere for lunch too.

@Gaffr - As far as I can see, the route is :

Day 1 - Calacuccia circuit, Vallee Niolu
Day 2 - Calacuccia - Vergio lac Ninu & Capu Tozzu
Day 3 - Vergio circuit, includes some GR20
Day 4 - Vergio - Evisa
Day 5 - Evisa - Ota
Day 6 - Ota - Porto, minibus to Ajaccio

I'd also welcome any advice on best footwear for this route. My collection includes:

1. Well worn leather Zamberlan boots, can become tight after a long day
2. Very comfortable Merrell shoes, soles a little thin when walking over sharp stony ground
3. Ancient suede/nylon boots, more ankle support but the tread has worn away to nothing
4. Pair of sandals for the easy bits.

Thanks!

JH



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, May 22, 2013, 7:20

JH,
I sometimes think that getting to the start of the route is more difficult, for we folks from the UK, than is the walking on the trail.:-) Like you JH I have a couple of evening and an overnight bus journeys before I get to the airport. When I arrive to Poretta Bastia I guess that I have a choice on account of the non availability of Sunday transport. Wait for six and a bit hours in Casamozza for a train to Calvi or maybe try a hitch to get further down the coast...Moriani perhaps if I'm lucky for a camp there....and to get the morning bus from Bastia down to Sainte Lucie and later Conca to begin my tour from the Southern end.

Looks like a nice mixed itinerary that you have. Maybe the GR20 part from Veirgo will allow you to reach the Paglia Orbe area and later, after Evisa, the Spelunca gorge down to Ota. Seba who writes here was in the area of your day two recently!
I have always had my Scarpa boots with me for walking all of the trails in Corse with my trainers for some use.
Once you wake up with the sun warming things up all the hastle if forgotten.

--

Gaffr



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 22, 2013, 18:13

I'd say that the Zamberlan boots are about right.

The terrain is a too rough for walking shoes and far too tough for suede boots.

I took Brasher boots (perfect) and a pair of very lightweight flip flops for the refuges.

If your feet get a bit hot, it's not difficult to put up with that but If your boots have inadequate support, you risk twisted or even broken ankles.

--

Alan