trip report sept 15 - 26


Posted: Sun, Oct 14, 2018, 11:18


My trip did not go as planned, but I made it into a great trip anyway!

First time solo backpacking
pack weight: 12 kg (without water) --> tent included, no meals, but 1 kg snacks

Saturday sept 15: arrival in Ajaccio, camping Les Mimosas

Sunday sept 16: train to Vizzavona (€ 7), walk to Cascade des Anglais and Sentier Archeologique

Monday sept 17: first day on GR20, to E Capanelle. The walk was not that hard. In the afternoon clouds came up, then fog and a little bit later rain and a thunderstorm really close by. I arrived in Capanelle with a lot of fear and really wet. I asked for a bed, so I didn't have to sleep in my tent. I slept in the refuge.

Tuesday sept 18: second day on GR20, to Col di Verdi. The beginning was difficult, because you climb over rocks and I'm a small person. I lost my confidence when I reach the first point. I should have reached it after 30 minutes, but it took me 1h30. At that point I already had decided to make the trip shorter. I didn't enjoy the walk, until lunch and I only looked forward to reaching Col di Verdi. I had just put up my tent, when the rain and the thunderstorm started again. I decided that night that I wasn't happy and that I didn't want to spent the rest of my holidays like that.

Wednesday sept 19: While packing it started raining again. Instead of following the GR20, I took the road to Cozzano. I walked 18 km and stayed in the only Gite in Cozzano. Rain was still on and off that day.

Thursday sept 20: I took an early (and the only) bus to Ajaccio today. The sun was shining and I decided to be a real tourist today. I explored the city by the tourist train. After that I ate lunch on the beach and went to the ferris wheel and took a ride on it. Then I walked back to Camping Les Mimosas and planned the rest of my holiday.

Friday sept 21: I bought a 'Pass Liberta' for the train. That way you can travel wherever you want with the train for 5 days and it cost 50 euros. I took the train to Bastia and explored the city. I stayed in Camping Les Sables Rouges. It's not in the center, but there is e free shuttle bus to the parking near the camping. Ask for more information in the tourist office.

Saturday sept 22: I took the train to Calvi. It's a long ride, but the scenery os very beautiful. I never got bored on the train. And you can charge your phone in the train! Calvi was the most beautiful for me. You can visit the citadel for free. I stayed in Camping La Clé des Champs. It's a smaller camping, close to Camping Les Castors, but this camping (Les clé) was the best camping I had. They spoke english, they were very friendly, there was toilet paper and it was very clean and calm. To reach this camping, get of the train 1 stop before reaching Calvi. It is called 'Calvi Talle'. This is a requested stop. That means you have to let the controller of the tickets know you want to stop there. You can push a button too. When you want to take the train from that stop, just stand by the tracks and raise your hand when you see the train coming. It will stop for you.

Sunday sept 23: Train to Ile Rousse. Get off the train 1 stop after Ile Rousse, at Monticello (requested stop) to reach camping Les Oliviers. Not much to see in Ile Rousse. Take the walk to the old lighthouse.

Monday sept 24: train to Ponte Leccia. That was a mistake! There is a tourist office in Ponte Leccia, so I tought that there was someting to do here. Not true. They basically said to me that if you don't have a car, there is nothing to do here. Anyway, I walked 2 km to the south to reach a centre where I wanted to go climbing in the trees. That activity was not available on monday. Then I decided to go to the camping, which is 4 km from the tourist office, so 6 km from the centre. But I didn't have anything better to do, so I walked that. It's a dangerous walk, because there is no foothpad. I wouldn't do it again. After reaching the camping I found a walk nearby. But after 2 km I still didn't find the beginning of the walk, so another 2 km back to the camping. I have been reading my book on the private 'beach' from the camping.

Tuesday sept 25: I found out (thanks to my phone and 4G) that the train station of Francardo is closer then the one in Ponte Leccia, so I walked to that one (requested stop) and took the train to Corte. Corte is small, but beautiful.

Wednesday sept 26: train to Ajaccio and plane back home!

If I can help preparing your trip, just comment below!


Posted: Sun, Oct 14, 2018, 12:16

I guess trekking the GR20 without previous trekking experience isn't the best way to go. On the other hand it was sensible not to continue with the risk of thunderstorms. Your report also shows that there a lot more to do in Corsica. Maybe if you try again when the weather is better it might work out well.


Posted: Sun, Oct 14, 2018, 13:56

Anneke, I think you shouldn't give up because of this unsuccess. My first solo experience, many years ago was much worse. I suggest you should plan again your trip in a better (weather wise) month, like July and join some of those you'll find on your way. Everything will turn out fine, trust me.


Posted: Mon, Oct 15, 2018, 6:18

Sometimes on walking trips plans have to be altered. You probably know much more about the island than the average walker completing the GR20. Many of the camping places and villages that you write about in your report were only found by us after the visit to the GR20 when we returned to walk several of the other multi day routes on the the month of June but with beautiful warm rain-free days. The French Topo guide for Corse...'Entre mer et montagne' gives full details for five other walking routes in Corsica. That is how we reached Corte, Cozzano, Olmeto, Girolata, Zonza, Evisa and many, many other villages reached during the walks.

There is much more than the celebrated route that folks come in droves to walk over.

I think that I am correct to say that, is it something like 30% of those setting out on the GR20, complete the entire route?