Mare a Mare nord 2015

patsy

Posted: Wed, May 20, 2015, 20:39

INFORMATION

Hi, Just returned from Corsica Mare a Mare Nord and the good news is that gite d'etape Luna Piena, the first gite out of Moriana-Plage has now reopened. Run by a lovely family and has a new phone number - 04.95.47.08.19. Food excellent!!!

Husband Mike and I (we're both early 60's) completed stages 1 to 5 before sole came off one of my climbing boots and combined with intense heat (more like July in early May) and high meltwater rivers, caused us to abandon attempt, though we later went from Cargese to E Case and back. Two German twenty-somethings we met took 9 hours over Marignana - E Case so we felt OK about giving up.

Patsy

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Patsy



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, May 21, 2015, 6:04

Hello,
Many thanks for getting back to the Forum with your recent experiences on the MM Nord.

It is good to know that the accommodation at the end of stage one is up and running again. The gite seemed to be a new-build hostel when we arrived in 2007 (it was around the middle of June) and there was a message on the door to ring a number in Moriani to contact the warden. I guess this is the same one that we knew as I Penti? which was how it was labelled in our French guidebook.
We had to bring out the tent at Pianellu where the hostel was closed....maybe that has re-opened again...although there was a lady who 'did' a B and B service. As I recall there was two forms of overnight available in Val d'Alesani if a shorter stage two day was sought after.
You must have reached Corte when the boot problem occurred. This is always a big worry on a multi day route. My wife had this problem of the sole 'flapping' on the early part of GR5/GR55 through the Vanoise but fortunately managed to get replacement boots in one of the ski area shops.

The early snow-melt, although spoiling your trip, will perhaps be of interest to the folks going early to the GR20 where the snows lasting into June have caused problems in the higher stages of the route in recent years.

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Gaffr



patsy

Posted: Thu, May 21, 2015, 12:02

Hi Gaffr

You are a mine of information - I'm very impressed. Yes, the gite is in the same place (i penti) as described in the Rough Guide, I think it has been renovated - there were locals in having a meal as well!
Monsieur said he'd been open a month (we were there on 4 May).

Pianellu was open - in an old school. I felt very sorry for the lady running it - her daughter is very ill and she's not at the gite much. She left us breakfast and thermos flasks on a tray. She had a bad day the day before we got there. She was expecting 6 trekkers and only 2 arrived, we'd lost a day and sent a message with 2 french guys from the night before at Luna Piena but they forgot to tell her immediately and then one of the others had been air-lifted off the route with a broken leg. She's a character, sent us a correction of my booking letter in my best french with the acceptance.

In Val d'Alesani the hotel seemed to own the gite. It was a really nice place!

We loved our walk - we'd struggled largely because of the heat (the Mare a Mare Centre the year before was well within our capabilities but was about 10 degrees Celsius lower most of the way) and the rivers were an irritation and very time consuming to find a crossing at. Also, there were several places where our French OS maps deviated from the route - once we missed the route completely and were given a lift up the mountain by a pig feeder man. Mike went in the back with the feed! It just wasn't quite as enjoyable as the year before because of the difficulties with the heat and weight of packs. We improvised with the boot and tied it on by spare bootlace but it was one problem too many and we weren't in the financial position to buy new boots in Corte. We also lost time on the first etape by being adopted by a lovely dog which turned out to have been abandoned (Gite helped with this one). It followed us from Moriani plage and turned a deaf ear to my commands in English and French to go home. Sorry, don't know any Corsican!

The Tra Mare and Monti looked pretty attractive as well..........! Next year?

Patsy

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Patsy



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, May 21, 2015, 15:59

Yes we know that things don't always run smoothly on these multi day treks!

You must return for the Mare e Monti and since the route shares the same finish with MM Nord you could, from Evisa, go up to the Col de Verghjo and continue down, not quite, there would be one up from Albertacce, the MM Nord to Corte where you can get a train out from there. There are several sections of the M e Monti Nord and on the MM Nord above Corte that are very good walking.

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Gaffr



Steve Dan

Posted: Sat, May 23, 2015, 21:03

Hello Patsy,
I believe we met on the trail. Myself( the English one) and my pal Markus((the German one) were heading down to Cargese from E Case, having bumped into each other on the train from Bastia,we had walked from Calenzana together. We stopped for a chat with you just above the hamlet of Lozzi. I remember your tale of the swollen watercourses, and your boots strapped up with spare laces. Hope you enjoyed your overnight at the refuge, what a lovely spot.
The German twentysomethings you speak of were Gils and Imke, who had also walked the Tra Mare from Calenzana,but had stayed in Evisa instead of Maringana, so were a stage behind at that point.They met up with Markus again in Cargese,I moved on to Piana. It was Imke's first ever long distance trail and she'd had a great time.
The Maringana- E Case stage had also taken me around nine hours, but more because of the superb display of wildflowers, birds and butterflies along this section. Well worth taking time over. Markus wandered in about ten and a half hours after leaving Maringana,having got through over five litres of fluid en-route.Yes it was hot. I don't mind hot as a rule, but that was......hot.
Just a final thing, as I may be on the Mare a Mare Nord myself next year, do you recall where you had your crossing problems?
Maybe see you on the trail again next year,
Regards, Steve.



patsy

Posted: Sat, May 23, 2015, 22:28

Hi Steve,

Remember you well, you're from Darlington/Wakefield!!!!! We, like you, spent a lot of time admiring the wildlife and the scenery - beautiful. Mike videoed several sections of bird song for our bird-watching friends.

Most of the problems with crossings came on the first stage, but unless the same situation with heat repeats next year, there shouldn't be a problem. We had problems with the route around some of the villages as the path seemed to have been re-routed in places and doesn't agree with the maps, this was most evident on the third day when we completely lost the route and ended up getting a lift from the pig feed man.

Hope you enjoy the Mare a Mare Nord if you decide to do it!

Patsy

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Patsy



Gaffr

Posted: Sun, May 24, 2015, 6:13

Hello,
Really fine to hear some feedback from the 'other routes'.
In 2008, again very warm in early June, those streams where you had problems with were just trickles....It all depends on the weather in the season. I would guess that May is the one that most likely to present problems.
We too enjoyed camping at e Case and as you say I too do recall getting images of the flora.
Just looking at my scribbles in the Randonnee book. The descent for both Mari e Monti and for the Mare a Mare N both have the fabulous descent to the coast from the 'toppled pillar' after ascending from near Lozzi.
We left Sermano hostel and rather than go the way of Castellare-di-Mercurio we went up to Sant Alesio chapelle by way of an old path before to the col. It seemed a bit different from going back into the villages? I like to do the odd variation to the marked way.

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Gaffr