Corsica trip planning for hikers
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Posted: Sun, Jan 25, 2015, 22:15
Me and my husband are arriving at bastia port from nice 7am on saturday 6thJune :-). Could anyone suggest the most reliable / best method to get to calenzana? Ideally we would like to complete the first stage on the same day.
I'd be also be interested in people's experience. Of daytime temperatures we can expect particularly in the north.
Posted: Mon, Jan 26, 2015, 6:40
I have never been in a position to arrive that early on Saturday on Corse. :-) Our arrivals have usually been on Sunday after midday and internal transport is a big problem!
If you look up the timetables for rail and bus you should get to Calinzana in the afternoon.
To reach d'Orto di u Piobbu on the same day would be pushing, probably, a bit too hard. The first stage on a warm day is a big day out.
Our three visits from Calinzana to the high ground have been all in June and temperatures have been well into the twenties C. In 2013 starting in the South on the 4th June, that year late/lasting snowfall was the problem in the North, however the temperatures in the south were decidedly very warm.
Posted: Mon, Jan 26, 2015, 9:18
If you look at the Corsica Bus website (unofficial but reliable) then there's a train at 8:15. The station is close to the port (@600m) so you should have enough time to catch it: http://www.corsicabus.org/Train_services/Train3BiaCly.html
There is a station at Camp Raffalli GR20, which is closest to Calenzana but I don't think you'll find a taxi there. It'll be a few km walk along the road.
Early June could still be chilly and you might still find some snow on the route. Keep an eye on the National Park blog before you go. It was very snowy in 2014 but doesn't seem to have been as bad this year. http://randoblogpnrc.blogspot.it/
My reccommendation is to take a thin lightweight down jacket, preferably with a hood, just in case it is cold. You can pick them up for £50. You don't need a fancy 'technical' jacket but do get a light one and it has to be down filled.
Posted: Mon, Jan 26, 2015, 19:38
Thankyou for your responses. We decided to fly to nice and get the ferry across as we would like a few days at the end to explore a bit more of the island :-) we fly out of figari any suggestions of where or what to see would be welcome.
I didn't know about the blog that will be really useful when deciding if yo take our snow tracks with us.
My down jacket will certainly be packed, great for chilly mornings and evenings
Posted: Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 8:36
When we finished in Conca we went to the Gite and used their minibus to get to Pinarellu. There's a decent campsite and a great beach.
There are buses from there into Porto Vecchia but they only run in July & August. The walk back to Saint Lucie de Porto Vecchia, where you can pick up buses into Porto Vecchia is only a couple of miles. We walked it in half an hour.
The alternative is to use the minibus to go to Saint Lucie de Porto Vecchia and go straight into Porto Vecchia. There are loads of options from there.
One place I'd like to go to but didn't have time was Bonifacio. It looks amazing.
Posted: Sun, Feb 1, 2015, 10:13
Perfect looks like there is plenty to consider once we know how much time we have left.
I was also wondering. We are planning on camping along the route, do the refuges allow you to use the cooking equiptment and showers?
Posted: Mon, Feb 2, 2015, 7:25
We have always camped, and mostly cooked our own, when on the GR20. Of course it does mean carrying an extra big 'albatross' on the backs but when shared among two, or even more folks, it can pay dividends. I did travel alone once and did 'feel' the extra weight of the entire camping kit. :-)
but you don't have to share a usually overcrowded refuge!
Of course as a camper, with the seven or so Euros paid each night, you have use of very overcrowded showers etc. You can use the cooking facilities provided 'inside' for non refuge meal takers but it does not look too savoury! and you would be scrumming with those taking a bed in the refuge but maybe without a meal?
At many of the refuge camping areas there are outside gaz cooking facilities for the use of campers that I used a couple of times when my own gaz was low. Many of these are a bit trashed by thoughtless folks! Being mainly independent is bliss amongst much of the mayhem.
What having the overnight stops at the designated refuges does do is contain the human debris to what is it some twenty or so 'stopping places' along the route. How much more debris would there be if overnights/camping were allowed outside the designated places.
This is I guess one of the big problems of an very popular route, certainly during the three popular summer months, but for most of us it does not take away too much of any of the great pleasure of travelling the route. If only everyone behaved taking account of other travellers needs!
Posted: Mon, Feb 2, 2015, 13:39
I'd mirror what Gaffr said.
Taking a tent gives you so much more flexibility and avoids the dreaded bed bugs, although reports of those seem to have lessened.
The extra weight wouldn't be too serious as you can split it between you. There are pans for the inside cooking areas but not outside, so you'll need a basic canteen. I managed with a single pan but I ate what the refuges provided most nights as the food is usually quite good and not too expensive.
I took a mini burner for a Coleman type screw on gas canister as a back up (mostly just for cups of tea) and used the supplied gas whenever it was available.
You should be able to buy a replacement canister at Vizzavona if you run out. They're also available in the SPAR in Calenzana.
You sound like you're experienced trekkers so I probably don't need to say to keep the weight down. Max 13kg inc food & water if you can.
Posted: Sun, Feb 8, 2015, 12:04
Thanks guys, again very useful advice. Plenty to choose from once we finish. I am literally counting down the days till we get there :-)
Is there much of a problem with mosquitos in june? we are debating if to take the inner to our tent, mosquitos love me so not convinced it's worth the weight saving.
Posted: Sun, Feb 8, 2015, 13:08
The first time taht we went to Corse, June 2007, for the GR20 we took just the outer tent...the inner for that tent was cotton so it weight a bit. Must confess I didn't see/feel a biting insect during the trip but my wife did complain about the dust when there was a breeze.
For subsequent visits we had an all nylon tent so the inner didn't weight much at all.
Posted: Mon, Feb 9, 2015, 8:42
There shouldn't be mossies on the GR20 as it's at a sufficient altitude to deter them but you might find them at either end.
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