Hiking for 4-5 days

sammiboy84

Posted: Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 17:16

Hi hikers!

Me and my girlfriend are planning to do some hiking for 4-5 days.
We are going to start in Ajaccio.

Any suggestions for a nice route from there?



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 18:24

Hello,
From Ajaccio you would need to take a bus to reach Cargese and travel the the Mare e Monti for a few stages to reach Curzu or maybe Girolata. Back up the the road to get the bus back to Ajaccio?
Or to take a bus in the opposite direction to the nearby Porticcio to follow the Mare e Monti Sud to reach Propriano...bus back to Ajaccio?
Or again follow the Mare a Mare Nord, again from Cargese, to reach Corte...Train or buses from there in most directions.

--

Gaffr



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 19:27

You could take the train to Vizzavona and head either north or south on the GR20.
Going north, you could go to the Refuge de Manganu and down the Tavingnanu gorge to Corte and take the train back to Ajaccio.
Going south, you should be able to reach the Col de Bavella and get the bus back to Ajaccio.

--

Alan



Hiker84

Posted: Wed, Apr 2, 2014, 19:50

Thanks Alan and Gaffr for your help. Very apprieceted!



Hiker84

Posted: Wed, Apr 2, 2014, 20:01

On the hiking, Do you recommend to buy food in restaurants on the way or bring your own food?

Is it very hot to walk in the beginning of July or can you handle it?



Joanna

Posted: Thu, Apr 3, 2014, 7:17

The food at the refuges is not gourmet, but it's plentiful, good, and cheap. And if you buy food there, you won't need to carry so much.
I would think July is too hot, mid-June was barely bearable for us... but it depends on what you're used to. 25-30C and little shade is what you have to expect anywhere on the trail, so make sure you have lots of water, at least 3 liters per person!



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Thu, Apr 3, 2014, 7:38

Temperature does vary. It is likely to be hot but at that time of year you get very early sunrise, which gives you the option of starting early when it's still cool. The end of August last year was really chilly, but it was getting towards the end of the season. Mid August 2010 was boiling hot by comparison but still bearable. In 2010 I took an old fleece jumper as a spare layer just in case conditions were cool and binned it at the first refuge.
Try to keep weight to a minimum. 13kg max without water but 10/11kg is better.

--

Alan



cpt_pickard

Posted: Thu, Apr 3, 2014, 9:02

I am rather surprised by Joanna's statement that the food at the refuges is cheap. It is, of course, a matter of personal preference and experience but I tend to believe that most hikers consider the food ridiculously expensive (both cooked meals as well as supplies).

I sure did :)

Dan



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Apr 3, 2014, 12:57

Hello,
Space Captain Pickard :-)...I think of a question of the different levels in standards of living. I have been only once to Norway and quickly realised that food prices there were very high....and that was cooking my own. But I guess that is what happens in a strong economy based upon the black gold and gas and of course a relatively small population. Contrary to UK the Norwegians looked after the whole population with the rewards from what they found under the North Sea.....Sovereign wealth funds and all that to look after the affairs of all? Probably many of the food products are imported from Europe and Norway isn't involved with EU so prices will reflect all of this.
I guess that folks from Norway will find prices in France and on the island very interesting when compared with those at home?
Maybe like you I could only have the occasional meal in a refuge when on the route but then again I don't have too many problems when I cook on my stove....I am not unhappy with simple pasta dishes.

--

Gaffr



cpt_pickard

Posted: Thu, Apr 3, 2014, 18:33

Oh, Joanna is from NORWAY?! OK, OK... that explains everything :)

Well, to put things into perspective, let's say that the prices at the GR20 refuges are significantly higher than usual French prices, some stuff is two times more expensive.

Dan :)



Joanna

Posted: Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 6:29

Hehehe yes I guess you're right, my perspective is a bit different then most Europeans, sorry! A dinner at the GR20 refuge was often cheaper then the dinner I make at home from the ingredients I buy at my neiberhood grocery store!
But you're wrong, Gaffr, Norway do not use the oil money at all, which make us Norwegians angry with the government. Every last crown is put into share fonds for the "future generations", and instead make us (and even more the industry) pay huge taxes and a VAT of 25%...
And since we are not in the EU, there are huge protectional taxes on every food import, f.eks. the tax on imported cheese is 277%, and 360% on meat...

But I do not agree the GR20 food is twice as expensive as an avarage French food - a 3 course dinner is, as far as I remember, 25eur. Which is about the same as the menu de jour at French restaurants, or about the same as just the main would cost you if you choose a la carte...



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 7:57

Hello Joanna,
Was I just a bit naive when thinking that huge amount of the revenue from the black gold was put into a fund which would give every person in the country a very good pension in retirement? That alone would release 'everyman in Norway' from the need? to contribute to a private pension fund each month which for most Europeans is a major deduction from each months salary?
I can see how prices are so high with those tax figures that you have to pay. VAT here is at 20% but not on food products. I'm not much of a meat eater....mostly fish when I can get it.....but for Norwegians fish must be an option?

Le nom des fous est ecrit partout. :-)

--

Gaffr



Joanna

Posted: Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 8:25

I wish it were true! Employees pay 7,8% of their income as a pension and health contribution, and employers add another 10.6 % for the same purpose. And still we hear that if we don't make more babies, the system will collapse...

Fish is expensive too, as all the fisheries and fishermen have to be able to survive. We talk subsidies here, huge ones!



cpt_pickard

Posted: Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 11:03

It is true that the refuge dinner is approximately of the same price as the plat du jour at a restaurant in general France. Yet - it is not a plat du jour, quite often it is just a lump of simple pasta or so which would NOT cost EUR 20,- in a restaurant.

Since the refuge food is usually at a fast food quality level at best, I still believe the price is double compared to normal French establishments.

The resources themselves (cans, chocolate, bread, fruit) are surely double the lowland price or more.

Anyway, I do not want to be splitting hairs here.

And sorry to hear about the Norwegian situation, at least you save money whenever you go abroad :) I remember several shopping runs I did in Norway and insanity was the only word I could use to describe the prices :)

Dan



Joanna

Posted: Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 11:55

Dan, you don't have to feel sorry for us - yes it's expensive, but we have wages to match it! Which means trips abroad are indeed cheap, and most Norwegians I know travel abroad at least twice a year, and many even more than that :-)



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 12:32

Gaffr

You're not bitter about Scotland's squandered North Sea oil wealth are you?

--

Alan



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 16:13

I guess that we have strayed a bit off topic....but I have always felt that the Norwegians were somewhat cleverer with the oil management than we in UK. The rights to drill were hugely undersold and the royalties for each barrel were a joke! Our politicians and their advisers have always been under parr when big decisions have had to be made. And then the squandering of the wealth by successive governments. How can we have trillions of real debt after finding 'several gold mines' in the North sea?

--

Gaffr



Hiker84

Posted: Fri, Apr 18, 2014, 17:12

Hi again!

Turnertactics and Gaffr..
The suggested routes you recommended. Is there many campingplaces where you easily can put up a tent on these hikingtrails?

Gaffr, the routes you suggested is there on the GR20?

Another question(maybe a little bit wierd) is if there are any sportsbar or something that looks like it. We are going to walk at the same time as World Cup in Football? Im nervous to miss the exciting semifinals...

/Samuel



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Apr 18, 2014, 20:19

I recall....you were the folks who had just 5 days to walk?
I suggested a couple of routes away from the GR20 although one will cross the GR20 route at col de Vergio.
The Mare e Monti (in part)....we camped at Galeria, at Girolata, at Curzu gite, at Ota gite and at Evisa.

The Mare a Mare Nord ( in part ) we camped at E Case, at Marignana, at col de Vergio, at A Sega refuge and in Corte.

I think that it was Turnertactics who dealt with some other suggestions.
I can't remember if the date of your visit was established?....that would be important....season/openings etc.

For football....the Corsicans have two teams, Bastia and Ajaccio, in the French Premier Division if that what it is called....so there is much interest in football on the island. When we were in Corte in 2008 there were several matches of Euro. Internationals.... and again at Marignana and in the camping site at North of Cargese.

--

Gaffr



Hiker84

Posted: Fri, Apr 18, 2014, 20:44

Hi!

Where can I find important information about the routes mentioned?
I wanna know the walkingdistance and how tough the hikingtrails are.

Samuel



Hiker84

Posted: Fri, Apr 18, 2014, 20:50

Thanks Gaffr!

We are planning to walk between 6-9 of July, so that is 4 days. Do you think the trails are open at that time?

Sounds good about the interest in football on the island. I hope the French team will go the finals..

Whats the difference between the GR20 and The Mare a Mare Nord/The Mare e Monti?

Samuel



Gaffr

Posted: Sat, Apr 19, 2014, 6:06

Doing the researching bit is part of journey!:-)
Information on the main routes on the island....Walking in Corsica, Cicerone, Gillean Price or The french language Topo guide Entre Mer et Montagne. But if you want to go to the higher level the GR20 then Cicerone, Paddy Dillon.
All the trails will be open in July.
Difference between the trails....The GR20 is tough and once you reach the first refuge area at either end S or N you don't drop down below 900 metres for a couple of weeks unless of course you leave the trail at one of the several places reached by roads.
The Mare a Mare Nord is a mixture of rural and higher ground which reaches it's highest point at Col de Vergio at around 1500 mtrs. and the same height level at Sega Refuge but by using a varient you can reach higher level circa 1600 mtrs. and a bit of the GR20 from Sega. From there easy down to Col de Vergio and back onto the main MM Nord. Between Corte and Sega the not to be missed Tavignanu mule trail!
The Mare e Monti, scenically a very beautiful trail, is a mixture of Sea and higher ground and is probably the next most popular after the very busy GR20. Perhaps not so easy with camping...on this route it was very useful to have my French speaking wife to negotiate at some of the Gites (Curzu and Ota) for camping on the terraces....'we will buy a meal in the gite' etc.

There are a few other trails that I have knowledge of....Mare a Mare Centre, Mare e Monti Sud and Mare a Mare Sud.

--

Gaffr



Hiker84

Posted: Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 21:19

Gaffr, ow is the Mare e Monti Sud and Mare a Mare Sud? Are they as tough as G20? Can you camp on these routes?



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Apr 25, 2014, 5:52

None of the other five routes...Grande Randonnee...are as 'tough' as the GR20....and none of the others are as busy/crowded as is the GR20. At 15/16 days the GR20 is the longest. The others range between 5 days of travel and 10 days of travel.
Personally I found the Mare e Monti Sud to be of least interest and the Mare a Mare Sud busy and with most of the folks swanning around having their luggage transported by van....for me not a 'real' hiking trail....if that is what folks choose to do.... but it must be much more expensive. Of course there were some fine experiences, we were able to camp on a couple of terraces at gites and at one municipal site. The journey for us was an alternative way of travelling from Calinzana to Porto Vecchio by combining three of the 'other routes'. The best part of that journey was Mare e Monti Nord.

I think with just four days available for travel? that to maximise your walking on the island and with Ajaccio your arrival place that maybe reversing the Mare e Monti Nord for a few stages? Cargese, E Case, Evisa and maybe Ota. Bus from Ajaccio to Cargese. Bus back to Ajaccio from Porto.
On this route you are not too far away from reaching the road with a connecting bus to your starting place if that is what you require?

Travelling on which trail depends very much on how you stand with prior mileage under your boots. For us having wandered about in mountains most of our lives camping and used refuges etc. it didn't seem at all daunting to go directly onto the GR20 for fifteen days the first time that we came to the island....but we did have some tough days.

--

Gaffr



Hiker84

Posted: Sun, Apr 27, 2014, 18:34

Hi again Gaffr!

We will maybe walk this rpute: Cargese, E Case, Evisa and maybe Ota.
We are planning to bring a tent with us. Do you think its easy to find places to camp?
Do you have to book i advance to be sure to have a place?



Gaffr

Posted: Sun, Apr 27, 2014, 20:06

The camping at Cargese is three kls N of the village I think that it was called Terraccio camping. We stayed there after coming down from Mare a Mare Nord this route shares the stages from Evisa with the Mare e Monti. If you come on say the bus from Ajaccio you probably will want to get started on the stage up to E Case so may not want to camp here?
E Case camping on the terrace beside the refuge.
Camping also behind the Gite at Marignana.
The Evisa camping is called l'Acciola and is a couple of kls. out of the village on the road to Col de Vergio.
Don't miss out on the Spelunca gorge old mule trail from Evisa down to Ota...turn right at the cemetary going out of the village. A doddle going downhill...not so on our stage coming up from Ota to reach Evisa!
We camped on the terrace at the rear of the gite in Ota although you may wish to continue on to Porto, maybe three kls down to the coast where there are several camping sites the one that we stayed in there was named Les Oliviers. Interesting story that one, not unusual in Corsica, where you always find odd things with transport! After the camp in Cargese we thought that we could take the bus to Calvi where we would travel back to Nice on the ferry...not in Corse...The bus journey finished its journey at Porto where we could get another bus.....the following day!.... to reach Calvi! However we did enjoy out stopover in Porto....it is a bonny, bustling wee place with pleasant swimming in the salt water.
We never booked for anything in Corse....we don't really know most of the time where we are going to be from one day to another...its all an adventure.

--

Gaffr



Hiker84

Posted: Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 8:49

Hi!
We have decided to walk a part of "Mare e Monti Nord" from Cargese to Ota.
Do we have to bring a stove or is it enough food you can buy on the way? We want to have a luggage with as low weight as possible.

How is the weather in the beginning of July on the mentioned route? Do we have to bring warm clothes like fleece and jacket?



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 10:00

Hello,
This topic has been on-going for a long time....two names and spread over three different headings on the Forum/
You are using a tent so I would include stove etc in my rucksack...there are some places where you can use cooking facilties but I prefer to be independent. I always stuff some food into my sack as a starter...purchases, in your case, made in Ajaccio? and then buy stuff on the journey. Evisa has shops.
We did this journey from Calinzana to Cargese in early June....very hot with some heavy rain at Evisa while camping. The camping site is maybe a kilometre and a bit out of the village upwards on the road to Col de Vergio....camping Acciola.
Have you thought about the times of the bus from Ajaccio to reach Cargese?...check the timetable for Corsica buses....your arrival in Ajaccio from the Airport? ....navette bus into the bus station in Ajaccio... may just not coincide with the bus. However it will leave from the same bus station.
You may have to consider an overnight camp in Ajaccio.
We carry water in our Sigg bottles for use en-route.
Highest point on your route to Porto....around 800 metres at Evisa.

--

Gaffr



Hiker84

Posted: Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 10:50

Hi!

Thanks again and sorry for the spread of subjects in the forum.
I think we are going to take the morning bus from Ajaccio.
We are going to stay at a Hotel in Ajaccio for 2 nights before the hiking.

Is it easy to fill up the waterbottles under the way? 3 liter per person per day is enough right?

Gaffr, you are a hero for us with your help

/Samuel