Friday, 25 May 2012


Arrived at the Corsican port of Bastia at 7.00 am and disembarked into a massive traffic jam that lasted for the 20km ride through the city and south to a major  junction where we escaped on the road to the mountainous interior of the island.

What a place! The mountains are absolutely beautiful. Almost enough to bring tears to my eyes as we rode about 80 km for 3 hours  in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears only past cascading rivers, snow capped peaks,  wild flowers everywhere and cattle and pigs wandering on to the road. Lots of bikers coming the other way. All tourers, no sports bikes.  Eventually emerged on the west side of the island and then rode south along a beautiful coastline with lovely villages and beaches and mountains inland of us. I have to admit it made the Great Ocean Road in Victoria seem a very poor cousin. To top it all, blue skies and 26 degrees, though an afternoon thunderstorm hit the mountains well after we had passed through making them even more dramatic.

The Corsican people are equally marvellous. We stopped for morning coffee at Corte where we had coffee and the local Corse gateau, a leaf shaped cake with chopped fig and a leaf actually cooked into it. Very nice but we ditched the leaves. Corsicans, unlike the mainland French are super friendly and seem to have no trouble understanding my crap French, unlike their mainland cousins, some of whom look blankly if I mispronounce a word or use the wrong tense. Lunch at a harbour-side restaurant at Sagone. Salad for Gail and mussels and home-made chips for me.  Again great staff at this informal timber cabin eatery. Not cheap though.
Found a marvellous little hotel in the narrow main street of Propriano. Again over a bar, with a view of a bay of the Med which is just  50 metres away. Had a shower, went for a walk, had a beer at an outside bar near the water just outside our hotel, where I am writing this. Of the 70+ countries I have visited, Corsica has to be the best, and it isn’t just the beer speaking. BUT, like Tasmania it is a small island, about 200km by 80km so it wouldn’t take long to do everything there is to do if you lived here. Having said that, we’re not sure we would ever get tired of a place like this.

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