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Corsica December 2016

As like last year, we wanted to escape from the end-of-year fuss, and this time with some sun and warmth.

Last time on Corsica was in 2014, and despite we visited the island already several times, it still keeps us attracting. Time to explore Corsica in the winter.

Early morning December the 26th we left direction Marseille. It was a fluid ride, not much traffic on the road.
Arrived well on time at Marseille we could register directly to enter the ferry. This after the obligated security checks.
All vehicles are checked out- and inside. The reaction of the security officer was priceless when he saw our axe hanging on the inside of the rear door. With a friendly and smiling face he recommended me to leave a knife in the care in case I had one on me. It was taken care of, I replied smiling. No camping gas or fuels were taken in custody. As long as they are safely stowed there is no problem.

After a calm sail we arrived at 07:00 in Bastia. Finally back on Corsica. From Bastia we drove to St-Florent to take breakfast and grocery shopping. The sun was visible, but more over felt nice warm. Some locals had their coffee outside, but for us it was just a bit to chilly so we took breakfast inside.
After breakfast, time to go shopping. The Spar shop was closed and as I experienced mobile issues, we had to go back to Bastia and shop there. At the same time I went to a SFR shop to buy an SFR sim-card.
By midday we were back in St-Florent. Time to eat. The restaurant choice was made quickly, as only three were open and only one had the terrace in the sun.

After a good Corsican meal and dessert, it was time to enter the Agriate, direction Saleccia. It’s still not recommended to take this road with a regular car, but compared to our previous visits the dirttrack was in good condition, part from water a result of heavy rain the week before.
Not even halfway, we saw two guy’s on a dirt bike, signing us to stop. They ask if we can help as one of them had a flat tire.
They were relieved we had a compressor, and we were happy we could test it in the field.
Arrived at the marvellous Saleccia we saw the results of the heavy rain on the beach.
It wasn’t possible to camp on the parking space there. The camping was closed, but the owner lived there, and you can’t see the beach or see from the parking space.
So, as foreseen, we drove to Plage Lotu. More water on the road here, but luckily not to much at the swamp, so we made it smoothly. The gorgeous Plage Lotu was in sight.
We walked over to the beach and noticed young locals had a BBQ on the beach. They came to the beach with their zodiac. We enjoyed the idea.
Parked Olli horizontal, set ready to go to sleep, we enjoyed the evening view over the sea.
We instantly had company: Mosquitoes! Mosquito repellent was something we didn’t had with us. We doubted, but there are no mosquitoes in the winter so… Well… there is no winter on Corsica, so there are mosquitoes. Luckily it wasn’t that bad after all.
The youngsters were back at sea, as we saw them making big circles. Did they had problems or just playing? We didn’t knew until they headed direction St-Florent. All of the sudden we saw two fins out of the water. Dolphins! To us, a first to spot them from land. This made our day.
The weather was superb, so we decided to stay another night. It felt like summer.

To make sure we saw more than just sand and sea, we left Plage Lotu and headed direction Ajaccio, where we had booked a hotel and a table in the 20123 restaurant for new-year-eve.

We decided to ride along the coast via the D81, T30 and from Calvi the D81b. We did that on previous visits, but then in high-season. Now the road belonged almost all to ourselves. Time to watch, stop and enjoying the views. Great.
We made great progress and just over the border of Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud we found an unused sideway of the D81. Ideal place, with a superb view to spent the night.

Next morning, full sun, we continue our road direction Piana.
By midday we leave the D81 and ride direction Bussaglia beach. Arrived we find a desolate beach. The restaurant and snack-bar are hammered closed for winter and part of those, there is nothing but a magnificent beach and cliffs.
We’ll eat here and relax a while.

Days are short this time of year, so time to hit the road again.
We ride along the gorgeous mountains near Piana. Hardly a car or people on the road. We have all the space to park and admire the rock formations.

The D81 brings us via Cargese where we make a quick visit to view the 2 churches, worthwhile according to our globetrotter book. Not that wow, but funny to see the 2 churches (greek and roman) to the opposite of each other, separated by a cliff.

Time to find a camp spot, we find a sign direction club-med near Lozzi. As expected, this was closed and at the beach hardly any person.
We park on a not to eye-catching spot, have dinner and enjoy the desolate beach and the sunset.
Unlike the other camp spots, the night here was not quiet. A shouting Corsican, mooing cows and barking dogs awoke us regular.

After coffee and cookies, it was time to ride to Ajaccio.
Before entering town we head first to Les Iles Sanguinaires. As elsewhere, we could enjoy the view as if we were alone on the island.
Arrived in the centre it was now easy to find a parking spot. Plenty of space to choose from.
It was after midday, so yes, time to eat in the sun. No visit to Corsica without eating a crêpe salé at a sunny terrace.
Some more exploring the city before we check-in to our hotel to get ready for our last meal of the year in the 20123.
When you are in Ajaccio and have the time, do visit the restaurant 20123. The menu is what they offer you that day, but it’s 100% Corsican cuisine. The interior is made as you are in the village Pila-Canale, where the owner had his first restaurant. Hence the name 20123, the zip code of Pila-Canale.

After a relaxed new-years-eve, with good food and a couple from Paris at our table, that, like us, escape the end-year fuss for years, we walk back to our hotel. It’s our last night on Corsica already.

By 17:00 we need to check-in the harbour, so we have a whole day to explore some more.
But first a coffee in the morning sun.

We follow the coast from Ajaccio to Isolella. A beautiful coastal village, superb views, we could live here.
Enough dreaming, we ride along and hit for the mountains direction Lac de Tolla. Again it’s enjoying the views and silence.
We make our descent via small villages where the villagers are celebration new-year all together along the road.
Still some time to visit Les Iles Sanguinaires again in the hope to view them in the evening sun. Unfortunately it’s cloudy and a lot more visitors as the day before.

The time to go has come and after the security check we enter the ferry.
Again we had a more than great time on Corsica, and if all works out, we are back next year.

Click here for the track


Total distance: 411.57 km
Max elevation: 725 m
Min elevation: -64 m
Total climbing: 7010 m
Total descent: -6987 m
Average speed: 42.35 km/h
Total time: 03:27:54
Download file: Corsica_2016.gpx

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