Day 7 (0hr)
I was woken by the rain at 5.00am. Heavy rain. Today should be an uphill then along a ridge. No one at the camp/refuge fancies the idea. We all stayed put. Sebastian baled out down the valley to Corte, while everyone else just hung around the refuge and steamed. The guardian at this refuge is pretty miserable…I guess having 30+ people jammed in the kitchen trying to warm up, cook and eat was too much. After 30 minutes he came in moaned loudly about something then left. Repeat every 30 minutes all day.
Tent survived well – I arrived later than most people yesterday, so all the flat pitches had gone. I got a slightly sloping one, but that was a blessing. It meant the rain could be diverted around. The flat pitches all became lakes.
Day 8 (6hr)
During yesterday’s enforced rest I concluded there was no way I could finish the hike and make it back to catch my flight. Another lesson learnt…. Always give yourself at least one an extra day, for travel delays on the way out or for weather.
However, today was a good day. Weather sunny and light cloud.
The walk was a hard slog uphill followed by a great traverse above lakes. Some scrambling involved, but easy enough that even I managed with no dramas. I stopped at Petra Piana, but my mates – the Germans, David&Peter, Marc) all carried on to the next refuge.
Day 9 (5hr)
An easy walk down the valley and then up the other side. Found a nice bergerie (farm) at 11.00am for a tasty tomato omelette and then carried on through the forest. Quite hot today.
Day 10 (7hr30)
Started with a stiff climb and some dodgy drops. It was 2hrs of ascent then followed by a steep descent. The descent was a nightmare. It went on forever. The guidebook says 2hr30. Took me 4hr30. Dropped down into Vizzavona, which the guide makes sound like a metropolis. It has 1 shop, 1 refuge and a train station. A number of hikers got off trail here….for the same reason as me, having not factored in a spare day.
This was to be my end point on my rearranged schedule. But of course…. There was no camping allowed anywhere. I managed to get into the (unpleasant) refuge for the night. And found the trains were on strike (well it is France, so nothing new there). Luckily there was an infrequent bus service, so we managed to escape back to Bastia.
A couple of days rest then back to blighty.