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Two Go to Corsica

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
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This trip was originally going to be called Two Go to Corsica and Sardinia. Yet as I read up on what we might find on the islands it became clear we couldn't do much more than sprint round the coastlines in the time available so we are going to Corsica only and Sardinia will have to wait. Barring some sort of Pompeii-like volcanic cataclysm I am sure it will still be there waiting for us. :)

This is the planned route. First we cross France from Roscoff, entering Italy over the Montgenèvre pass.

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Then down to Livorno for the ferry to Corsica. This bit might be subject to change. :) The reason for the Livorno sailing is it is the shortest at around 4 hours and the dog can stay in the van. And the reason for going via Parma is to avoid the busy coast. We might also look out for some Parma ham. :)

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We came over from Plymouth last night on a very smooth crossing marred only by a shortage of sleep. Brittany Ferries have revised their timetable to put on extra Brexit sailings so we boarded at 23:00 last night and drove off at 06:00 this morning - a schedule granting us barely five hours slumber.

We usually shop at the Super U in Pol de Léon just outside Roscoff but we we so early even the pigeons in the town square were still asleep.

So we drove on, shopping at an Intermarché on the way later in the morning to collect the wine and some foodie bits which Mrs DBK insists we buy as she doesn't think wine on its own is enough to live on.

We have stopped at the free aire in Beignon where we have stayed before. (CC19710)

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This is on the edge of the Fôret de Paimpont which is a place linked with Arthurian legends. You can visit Merlin's tomb and a Fountain of Youth amongst other attractions if you want. We drove through the town of Paimpont, in the centre of the forest on the way here. It is an attractive but touristy place and has an aire but it isn't free to park there (€4) and water needs a trip to the Tourist Office for a €3.50 jeton. We gave it a miss but I'm sure we will visit someday. :)

More info can be found here: https://tourisme-broceliande.bzh/en/la-foret/

To stop us falling asleep after lunch we went for a walk into the forest from the Beignon aire. My geocaching app is good for finding paths but sadly our geocache locating performance this afternoon was dismal. We only found one cache out of six possibles! My excuses include the more than a little cryptic clues and some of the caches were themselves classed as hard with one 3.5 and another 4.0. I expect the clues to be in French but what to make of:

"Petite bebete à l'abri du soleil"

And:

"Un lacet à refaire peut être ?"

The first means (I think :)) "Little baby at the foot of the sun" and the second "A lace to be redone can be? ". When there is no baby, sun or pair of shoes to be seen we were stumped though on reflection I think the lace thing probably meant kneeling down - as if tying a shoelace, suggesting the cache was low down and underneath something.

The hint for the only one we got was "1m above the ground" which was easy enough when the coordinates take you to a tree. :)

We did a circular walk which included the valley of the l'Aff river. And a pleasant woodland ramble it turned out to be.

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We soon spotted some curious purple plants.

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It is Purple Toothwort (Lathrea clandestina) a member of the broomrape family. It is parasitic on the roots of a wide range of deciduous trees. The main part of the plant is underground and can weigh several kilograms. A new one for me. :)

We will push on south east tomorrow. :)

And here we are parked outside another French cemetery. We have heard distant gunfire all afternoon. We are very close to the military academy of St Cyr which is the French equivalent of Sandhurst though graduates from it also join the Gendarmes and I remember being told years ago it was only the very best joined the Gendarmerie. The rest join the French Army!

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Did I mention the aire was free? ;)
 
May 29, 2012
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Another jolly @DBK ? Fantastic stuff! ....... (y) you (3) enjoy it
 
Oct 30, 2010
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Have a great trip.
Will be following your posts.
We went on a package holiday to Corsica many years ago and loved it.
Don’t upset the locals though, there were bullet holes in every road sign up in the hills.
I hear that they have gone back to blowing up French owned holiday homes, we saw a couple of burnt out shells all those years ago.
Oh, the drivers are bonkers so take care on the narrow and winding mountain roads.

Richard.
 
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DBK

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
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Have a great trip.
Will be following your posts.
We went on a package holiday to Corsica many years ago and loved it.
Don’t upset the locals though, there were bullet holes in every road sign up in the hills.
I hear that they have gone back to blowing up French owned holiday homes, we saw a couple of burnt out shells all those years ago.
Oh, the drivers are bonkers so take care on the narrow and winding mountain roads.

Richard.
We did a package tour there too many moons ago and really enjoyed it which is one reason for wanting to return.

I'm expecting the mountain roads to be "interesting". I've also got a new dashcam to record the fun. :)

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May 8, 2010
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Enjoy your trip. We're considering Corsica and Sardinia in the autumn, so I'll be following with interest.
I think that maybe better translations of your geo-caching clues might be 'little fool (or beast) sheltered from the sun,' and 'a lace to re-do, perhaps.' I think you're right about it being a shoelace. Have to say that I know nothing about geo caching, though. :unsure:
Good luck!
 
Aug 15, 2018
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Enjoy your trip and keep us posted. I have followed your previous tours and find them really informative and interesting albeit with a dose of jealously.

Safe travels, have great adventures and leave footprints for the rest of us to follow in.
 
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DBK

DBK

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As planned we have stopped for the night beside the Loire at a free aire, CC14413.

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It isn't strictly free as you have to pay for water. There is a machine which dispenses a jeton in exchange for sight of your bank card. We will find out if it likes UK bank cards tomorrow morning!

We had a better afternoon of geocaching in the nearby village of Cunault than yesterday, getting two out of three. :) The clues were still a bit cryptic.

" Le mur de Tuffeau vous révélera son secret mais si vous franchissez cette porte vous ne serez plus qu'un souvenir..."

Which Google translates as:

"The wall of Tuffeau will reveal its secret but if you go through this door you will only be a memory ..."

I wouldn't have known what a "Tuffeau" is if we hadn't seen a plaque in the village by a ramp down to the river. It said it was used for launching boats and for the landing of limestone blocks for building. This stone was known as Tuffeau. :)

This cache was in a ruined 12C church, the Église de Saint Maxenceul. This collapsed in a storm in 1745 and now looks like this.

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Most of the graves are very recent so it looks as if this is now an overspill cemetery. The cache is at the right-hand arch. It wasn't hard to spot behind a rock at the foot of the arch. The clue makes sense when you identify what is behind the arch.

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It is a "jardin du souvenir" or garden of remembrance, where I guess the ashes of those cremated are buried.

This is today's route. We almost didn't make it. :) I've always thought French truck drivers much better than their Italian contemporaries and in general they are. But overtaking a truck on a dual carriage way today it suddenly started drifting over into our lane. A sharp braking got us out of danger but as we watched it did it again! A blast on the horn seemed to wake him up, or he had finished twiddling with his radio, because he stayed in lane long enough for me to overtake. :)

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May 21, 2008
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We loved Broceliande - could almost feel the magic! I seem to remember a silver stag and S remembers a gilded tree. We are now in Ljubljiana (it's cold DBK!) and heading for Bled tomorrow. Enjoy Corsica etc.
Catherine & Shaughan
 
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DBK

Jan 9, 2013
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We loved Broceliande - could almost feel the magic! I seem to remember a silver stag and S remembers a gilded tree. We are now in Ljubljiana (it's cold DBK!) and heading for Bled tomorrow. Enjoy Corsica etc.
Catherine & Shaughan
Hopefully things will warm up. :) Have a good trip!
 
Dec 21, 2011
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Have a great trip - I will look forward to your posts. (y)
 
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Enjoy your trip. I always enjoy reading your posts, thanks for taking the time with them. No doubt more places will be added to my ‘should go there list’ by the end of your travels!

Cheers

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moulin 87

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We did the Livorno crossing in 2006 to Sardinia, in those days vehicles were 1€ each way off peak for a 6 hour crossing!! On our return we came back to Nice from Bastia having spent some time exploring Corsica. As I remember the roads on the majority of Corsica were neither flat, straight or wide and wild boar were everywhere in the mountains.

Charlie I think will be allowed on deck with you on the crossing but perhaps not in the restaurant!!

There was talk that Corsica was going to charge MHs a levy of perhaps €350 when you arrived which you would get back if you use proper campsites during your visit rather than 'wildcamp' which seems to have caused serious issues in recent years, I don't know if this idea became law.
 

moulin 87

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Don’t upset the locals though, there were bullet holes in every road sign up in the hills.
I hear that they have gone back to blowing up French owned holiday homes, we saw a couple of burnt out shells all those years ago.
Richard.
Only a year or two ago, maybe more, some Motorhomers were killed, parked up overnight.. At first it was considered a robbery gone wrong but it was radical activists fed up with MHs...

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May 29, 2012
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Hold up a mo @DBK ! you are virtually doing the opposite to @Lenny HB! He 'occasionally' pays for an Aire, whereas you used to 'occasionally' use a free one! The world is turning upside down I tell ye! :LOL:
 
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Your articulation of adventures is so entertaining you should consider writing a book;)

:LOL::LOL::LOL:

Have a great and safe adventure(y)
 
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DBK

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
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We did the Livorno crossing in 2006 to Sardinia, in those days vehicles were 1€ each way off peak for a 6 hour crossing!! On our return we came back to Nice from Bastia having spent some time exploring Corsica. As I remember the roads on the majority of Corsica were neither flat, straight or wide and wild boar were everywhere in the mountains.

Charlie I think will be allowed on deck with you on the crossing but perhaps not in the restaurant!!

There was talk that Corsica was going to charge MHs a levy of perhaps €350 when you arrived which you would get back if you use proper campsites during your visit rather than 'wildcamp' which seems to have caused serious issues in recent years, I don't know if this idea became law.
Thank you. :) We're planning to use mostly ACSI campsites as there are not many aires and even fewer are rated highly on CamperContact. The only exception is the one on the very northern tip of the island which I plan to visit. It has no services so it will only be for one night.

I've read about the wild boar - some are unafraid of humans apparently.

I don't think they have a charge for MHs but they are trying to limit wild camping according to this. It mentions the tax was approved by the assembly in Corsica but rejected by Paris. That wouldn't have impressed the natives.

https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/corse/camping-cars-corse-redit-non-au-camping-sauvage-1525772.html

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moulin 87

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Thank you. :) We're planning to use mostly ACSI campsites as there are not many aires and even fewer are rated highly on CamperContact. The only exception is the one on the very northern tip of the island which I plan to visit. It has no services so it will only be for one night.

I don't think they have a charge for MHs but they are trying to limit wild camping according to this. It mentions the tax was approved by the assembly in Corsica but rejected by Paris. That wouldn't have impressed the natives.

https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/corse/camping-cars-corse-redit-non-au-camping-sauvage-1525772.html
The article quoted says the 'National assembly' in Paris wouldn't agree to the 350€ charge in December 2017 but the Corsican Assembly were try to resurrect it in 2018!! I think it is quite clear 'wildcamping' won't be tolerated...

Looking at your route across France, between Grenoble and Briancon you go past the turning for the Col du Galibier, well worth a detour on a good day, the views across to Mont Blanc, perhaps 100kms away, are spectacular. Also if you take the road up to Ailefroide and beyond to the huge car park at the end you can walk up to one of many glaciers in the region, not an easy stroll though!! There is a basic campsite up there as well.. It will set you up well for what you'll see and have to cope with on Corsica;);)
 
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As planned we have stopped for the night beside the Loire at a free aire, CC14413.
We were at this aire on Saturday and Sunday. Missed you by a day, which is a shame as I would have liked to have told you personally how much I enjoy you travel threads.
 
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DBK

DBK

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We were at this aire on Saturday and Sunday. Missed you by a day, which is a shame as I would have liked to have told you personally how much I enjoy you travel threads.
Sorry to have missed you! It is an aire we must return to if only to try out the restaurant down the road. It seems to get very good reviews and not expensive.

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DBK

DBK

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Today was a public holiday, Victory in Europe Day and the roads were very quiet. I think offices and businesses were closed but all the supermarkets were open.

A three and a bit hour drive has brought us to Lathus St Rémy. Ignore the red blob - it was just my way of forcing Google maps to show the route we took. :)

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We have stayed here before. It is a former municipal campsite which now has a row of hedged baysfor MHs. (CC15257)

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The services are all free and there is even an electric point though I'm not sure it works. When we first came here a local driver used it to charge his electric car!

We filled up with water as soon as we arrived as we couldn't get any at the last place as the jeton dispensing machine was broken.

Weather is very unsettled today with showers and now a strong wind set to blow all night. It looks as if it isn't going to warm up anywhere until next week.

And that's about all the news. We had a wander around the village but apart from the old church with the octagonal tower there isn't a huge amount to see and the nearest geocache is a couple of miles away!
 

moulin 87

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Today was a public holiday, Victory in Europe Day and the roads were very quiet. I think offices and businesses were closed but all the supermarkets were open.

A three and a bit hour drive has brought us to Lathus St Rémy. Ignore the red blob - it was just my way of forcing Google maps to show the route we took. :)

/Quote
When the rain stops and you fancy a walk, either walk through the park opposite to the lane at the end, turn right and you meander along using google maps until you wish to return or you can drive 2 minutes to the river, there is a little car park and a nice walk along side the Gartempe
 
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moulin 87

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@DBK I'm also impressed after 2 days you're at least 120 kms south of your published route, doesn't bode well for the remainder of the trip!!

If I'm awake I'll wave as you pass our house near Le Dorat in the morning!!

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DBK

DBK

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When the rain stops and you fancy a walk, either walk through the park opposite to the lane at the end, turn right and you meander along using google maps until you wish to return or you can drive 2 minutes to the river, there is a little car park and a nice walk along side the Gartempe
We saw signposts with numbered walks on them, one pointing down that track but perversely the map on the notice board in the aire shows lots of walks - but none in this village. The info on the local walks must be on display somewhere else.

@DBK I'm also impressed after 2 days you're at least 120 kms south of your published route, doesn't bode well for the remainder of the trip!!

If I'm awake I'll wave as you pass our house near Le Dorat in the morning!!
Google decided I should be using a different route but it doesn't seem to know much about free aires - which like magnets are drawing us towards them. Saving money to spend on the Corsican campsites!

I think the last time we came this way you were catching a runaway cow. :)
 

moulin 87

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I think the last time we came this way you were catching a runaway cow. :)
All local inhabitants are under control at the moment, even the moles are keeping a very low profile and no snakes this year so far!! Coypu are about in increasing numbers and must come into the garden at night because the dog shoots off on patrol first thing each morning.
 

jumartoo

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We saw signposts with numbered walks on them, one pointing down that track but perversely the map on the notice board in the aire shows lots of walks - but none in this village. The info on the local walks must be on display somewhere else.


Google decided I should be using a different route but it doesn't seem to know much about free aires - which like magnets are drawing us towards them. Saving money to spend on the Corsican campsites!

I think the last time we came this way you were catching a runaway cow. :)

It's a strange way they have of advertising walks. We've been caught out by it in the past.

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