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Posted: Mon, Aug 24, 2009, 12:15


Just got back from doing the North half from Calenzana to Vizzavona (10/08 - 20/08) plus Monte Cinto, Paglia Orba, Monte Rotondu, had an amazing time. Thought I'd mention a few things which people might find useful...

Booking beds in refuges - Read a lot of posts about booking before I went. When I was there I never needed a reservation, and was only asked if I had made a reservation once. Was never a problem getting a bed.

Food - There was food for sale at every refuge, although a limited range and expensive - make sure you take plenty of cash, you don't have to spend it all but you can't get anymore until you're back in a town (not even at Vizzavona). I would happily have eaten €10 a day, probably more, if I wasn't wasn't watching my spending and carrying food from the refuges on roads (still pretty expensive).

Camping gas - Available at the SuperU in Calvi as someone else has mentioned

Bedbugs - For the most part the refuges are brilliant, no problems. However, Refuge de L'Onda has (or had when I was there - 20/08/09) a problem with bedbugs. I decamped and slept outside in my bivy bag after a couple of hours when I realised I wasn't alone, others who stayed in got badly bitten and they like to make themselves at home in your sleeping bag. I tried to tell the Guardian but I don't speak french... The previous refuge (Pietra Piana) was fumagated while I was there. Generally I think it's alright, although camping might be the safest option (plus the stars are awesome!).

Travel - Taxi from Calvi to Calenzana cost me €30 although I think that was because it was early morning, (language barrier!). There was a train strike when I arrived in Bastia but that's been resolved now. There was a replacement bus service anyway.

Generally, keep the bag as light as possible, a few kilos makes a lot of difference. Washing clothes rather than taking more is a good way to lighten the load, and a bivy bag rather than a tent was alright when I was there (only a bit cold round the face with a bag rated to +3 deg C with a polycotton liner) especially if you'll mostly be staying in refuges.

Think that's it, enjoy!