A hike in Corsica, June 9-16, 2002.

Group of 4: Neal and Jessica Young, Claire and Rick Kenyon.

June 9: Orly-Vizzavona. flight Orly-Ajaccio, train Ajaccio-Vizzavona. The shelter ("refuge") and hotel in Vizzavona are both full, so we walk an hour to the hostel ("gite") at the Vizzavona pass. The weather is cloudy.

June 10: Vizzavona-Onda wake up at 6, start walking at 7. After wasting an hour deciding which way to go (the topography does not seem to quite match the guide of FFRP), we go up in the forest along a torrent. Rain and clouds are with us (see picture 1. Picture 2: at the pass). Just before the pass, the sun shows itself briefly, then we are in the fog during the whole descent after the pass. Arrival at 1:15 at the Onda shelter, the second group there. We buy some lunch food and wine nearby. At night, the shelter is full (about 25 people, several sleeping on the floor).

June 11: Onda-Petra Piana wake up at 6, depart at 7, take the alpine variant (see pictures 3 and 5). Great scenery, great weather. Impressive dropoffs (watch your step!). At the pass, one can see the sea in the distance both East and West (see picture 4). Arrival at Petra Piana (see picture 6) at 12:10. By 2:30pm, the shelter is full. Clouds and fog also arrive and stay with us all afternoon and evening. Grumpy crowd. At night, the shelter is full again (about 35 people, several sleeping on the floor) and quite noisy.

June 12: Petra Piana-Soccia wake up at 6, leave at 7:10. High mountain walk. A couple of small banks of snow leftover from winter. The path includes some scrambling (see picture 7). Great weather from now on until the end of our vacation. Great, great scenery. Many hikers on the trail. Arrival at Manganu around 2pm, near a torrent. Hikers, scattered around the shelter, soak in the welcome sun. Unhappy with the prospect of another noisy sleepless night (Claire), with the crowd (Claire and Neal), and with the unforgiving steepness of the trail which is somewhat taxing for Jessica's brand new ACL ligament, we decide to leave the GR20 trail and take the path to Soccia. A short stop at the memorable lake of Crenu (mysterious atmosphere, like a place from the Lord of the Ring. See pictures 8 and 9). Overnight stay at the hotal in Soccia. Very friendly locals, quiet village with almost no vacationer besides us, and a night of sound sleep !

June 13: Soccia-Marignana wake up at 8, leave at 9:15. Long walk following the Mare a Mare trail from village to village in the high hills (see picture 10). great swim in a river in the morning. Parts of the trail are poorly maintained. Arrival in Marignana at 7:30pm without having met a single hiker all day. Night at the hostel in Marignana, which we share with 2 other hikers. Great view of the sea in the distance from the hostel (see picture 11).

June 14: Marignana-Porto. Late start, easy walk to Evisa, then down in the canyon of the Spelunca river. Great swim in the river (see pictures 12 and 13). It doesn't matter that the water is cold... walk in the bottom of that beautiful canyon (see picture 14) to Otta from which we take a taxi to Porto. Porto is relatively touristy but still pretty. The bay is magnificent.

June 15: Porto-Tuarelli. Late start, we rent a car and drive to Tuarelli, to a great hostel by the Fango river. We spend the afternoon swimming in the river (beautiful red rocks, clearest water I have ever seen, relatively warm water, deep water and rocks from which to jump in) and playing cards out side in the comfortable shade. This place is more crowded but it's the weekend and most of the people seem to be locals who have come here for an afternoon out.

June 16: Tuarelli-Paris. After a short drive to the Calvi airport where we return the car, uneventful flight back to Paris.

After the trip: Every place was beautiful. Now we'd like to go back and continue the GR20 at a less crowdedtime of the year (I wonder when ??), and go back to the Fango hostel with our kids to have a relaxed vacation by that memorable river !