GR20 Advice June - July 2017 - Many questions!!!

john928

Posted: Wed, Apr 5, 2017, 13:37

I’m getting myself ready for the GR20 this year and I’m planning to start it on the 19th June 17 doing it from North to South. I have PD’s Cicerone guide and have pretty much got all my gear sorted and flights booked. I always like to plan ahead as best I can and therefore have a number of questions that hopefully will find answers on here. Any help or advice would be gratefully appreciated.

1. Travelling on a Sunday from Bastia Airport to Calenzana
• I plan to get a taxi from Bastia Airport to Casamozza Station and pick up the Calvi train from there – is this a viable option and is the Calvi train direct (no need to change at Ponte Leccia)?
• Roughly how much would I expect to pay to get a taxi from Calvi to Calenzana and do you have to pre-book? I will also post on the taxi sharing forum of anyone wants to share
• Are there any shops open in Calenzana on a Sunday – I’m hoping the Spar will be open to pick up basic provisions.
2. Finances/Provisions
• Are there any opportunities to get access to an ATM on the GR20 (at Vizzavona maybe?)
• Assuming camping at the refuges and eating breakfast and evening meal plus buying lunch – roughly how much should I budget per day?
• What kind of provisions can I expect to be available at the refuges – for example can I buy toilet paper, sun cream, lunch for the day?
• What kind of food can I expect to be available for evening meal/breakfast at the refuges?
3. Medical stuff
• Are there any pharmacies en route (again at Vizzavona)?
• Are there any specific remedies worthwhile taking along (diocalm etc)?
4. Equipment
• I am doing GR20 in late June – are Microspikes sufficient for the odd patch of snow that might be encountered?
• I have a lightweight freestanding tent (Terra Nova Solar Photon). Is this OK for the GR20? Do the camping areas require any special considerations?
• I suffer a bit with my feet. Does anyone have any recommended sock combinations?
5. Getting away from Conca
• Any advice on how to get away from Conca and, if there are a few days spare, any recommendations on where best to stay (camping or B&B type accommodation) preferably near a beach with access to shops etc.
• I’ll need one night near Bastia Airport prior to flying home – does anyone have any recommendations on where to stay?
6. General
• Security – are there any issues I should be aware of or be vigilant for apart from the obvious?
• If anyone has any specific advice they feel I would benefit from, please let me know!

Sorry for rambling on :)

Thanks.

John



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, Apr 5, 2017, 15:18

Hello,
This would all take some time etc. ...maybe a wee bit of searching around the Forum perhaps.

1. The first time that we went to Corse we arrived on a Sunday lunchtime...navette into Bastia and chilled until the evening when there was a train. Change at Ponte Lecchia.
Sunday even in the tourist season is a family day off in Corse as it is in the Med. areas.
No point in rushing...camped in Calvi and got supplies etc. on Monday....afternoon up to Calenzana...then camped there... on the GR20 Tuesday morning.
Not sure but I don't think that Spar opens on Sunday?
Perhaps 30-40 Euros for the Taxi?

2. Not sure about ATM....I don't do ATM stuff....I just budget and carry enough.
I mostly cook my own but have taken the odd meal. Tent around 7euros, Plus food...you could be up to around 30 euros per day? I, where possible stop at a bergeries for whatever they have during the day.
I had a meal at Usciolu for around 11 euros....Pasta and veg.
I usually have a few Dioralyte powders with me.

3. Maybe I have been fortunate but have not taken any spikes with me on a variety of start days in June....once though I swapped to begin in the South on account of snow in the North but that was a start on the 1st of June.
Have always taken some paracord to enable stones to used instead of pegs at certain locations.

5. If you want big shops you should take the navette to Porto Vecchio....if beach and a local shop get off the navette near Sainte Lucie.....Pinarellu camping...bus stops there for PV...or walk back up to SL to get the east Coast bus. Maybe someone will know but I have heard that the Bus drops folks off at Poretto when coming from the South??
In 2013 when coming up from the South ( using the train) I walked out past the airport and stayed at a quiet camping Esperanza close to the beach....then walked into the airport after a couple of days there.
I sure that the others folks around on the Forum will help you out with the other Q's.

--

Gaffr



GRRR 20

Posted: Wed, Apr 5, 2017, 21:05

I got a Sunday taxi between Bastia Airport and Cassamozza and it cost €20. Changing trains at Ponte Leccia is no big deal. The trains arrive on adjacent platforms and don't leave until everyone has made the switch. Take a stash of Euros with you, because the only way you can get any cash once you start the GR20 is by robbing someone. Seriously, you can't get cash on the trail. Vizzavona isn't a shoppers paradise. You can only get basic stuff there. If you need stuff from a pharmacy, visit one before you reach Corsica, because if you intend launching straight into the trail, then you won't get what you need, and what you do get will cost a fortune. All supplies along the trail are basic and expensive. You either pay the price or carry all your special treats with you.



roesti32

Posted: Wed, Apr 5, 2017, 21:21

Concerning the changing of trains at Ponte Leccia: I took the train from Bastia to Calvi last year in August, and if I remember correctly, I didn't have to change trains. It was just a little irritating that the train left Ponte Leccia towards the direction it just came from.
I have to say I was rather tired from the journey, so it's not guaranteed my memory is 100% accurate.

--

Regards, Simon



VHodobay

Posted: Thu, Apr 6, 2017, 9:40

2 - I don´t remember any ATMs - assume there aren´t any.
- budget depend´s on your beer consumption (6Euros a can) - 40Euros/day should be sufficient
- refuges supply basics mainly and are expensive, you can get crackers and chocolate etc. Haut Asco had everything Castel de Verghio had a proper shop.

4 - I did GR20 in late June - snow was not a problem, I walked in trail runners, the only issue I had was Monte d´Oro - and that is a detour anyway (I had to kick footholds into the snow some 100 meters) I think it is more weight punishment than use to carry Microspikes
- campsites have rental tents - do not carry your own. if you carry, than lightweight (I had only bivybag and it was okay but sometimes I slept in the rental tents)
- You will suffer with your feet if you are prone to that - this is hard rocky terrain. really rock hopping.

6 corsica folks are nice and friendly - I had the best of experience with them (I hitchhiked) - no security issues, mountain folks are weird but brothers in arms. Bergerie l´Onda had real assholes, inbred mountain people without minimal social skills, I would not spend a penny there.

take trekking poles, pack light - even lighter than that. hike early. have some budget for treats - you will feel you deserve them. take time for pictures and enjoy the view - it is not a race, some folks feel it is, but it is not.



john928

Posted: Thu, Apr 6, 2017, 11:01

Many thanks Gaffr - all very useful information. Incidentally a wee look on Google last night reckons that the Spar in Calenzana is only open in the morning on a Sunday....

I'll probably leave the spikes at home then and yes, I've got some paracord in case the ground is too hard for pegs.

Cheers!



john928

Posted: Thu, Apr 6, 2017, 11:04

Thanks GRRR20. I'll be sure to carry enough Euros then, any spares can be taken when we head to the Sierra Nevada in Aug.

Cheers

John



john928

Posted: Thu, Apr 6, 2017, 11:05

Thanks roesti32

I'll make sure and stay awake for Ponte Leccia! Hopefully it is direct as the train timetable seems to suggest it.

Cheers.

John



john928

Posted: Thu, Apr 6, 2017, 11:11

Thanks VHodobay.

All good tips. I regularly walk in the Spanish Sierra Nevada so am hoping the terrain underfoot is not too vastly different (it can involve a fair bit of rock hopping too).

Yep, poles are a must and I'm paring down my gear to the absolute minimum. My tent is a wee very lightweight affair so hopefully won't be too much of a burden.

Cheers,

John



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Apr 6, 2017, 11:20

The train service between Bastia and Ajaccio is the only direct one.
The train service Between Calvi and Ponte Leccia is on a line connecting the two places that arrives to PL on a Parallel line so that a change for those coming from say the direction of Bastia is necessary.
If you send me your e mail address I will send an image of the set-up at Ponte Leccia.

--

Gaffr



john928

Posted: Thu, Apr 6, 2017, 11:39

Hi Gaffr - thanks for the heads up.

I'd be grateful for the set up at PL - you can mail me at john.white928.jw@googlemail.com.

PS - I know this sounds like a laughable question - but can you buy toilet paper on the trail? Also, you said on another post that you think there is a shop in Calvi near the station that might be open on a Sunday. Any idea if this sells meths/alcool a bruler for my tiny wee burner?

Again - VMT for your advice and help - makes my life easier!

Cheers,

John



GRRR 20

Posted: Thu, Apr 6, 2017, 17:34

I think they would be delighted to SELL you toilet paper. Some trekkers must be robbing whole rolls of it because it runs out far too fast for 'normal' use. There is plenty stored in the refuges, but they don't leave it out where people can help themselves.