Saturday, 23 October 2010

Day 6 - Refuge de Manganu to Refuge de Pietra Piana

We knew that we were once again starting with a climb and looking at the landscape ahead postulated that the path must go up a gully behind one of the spurs and over some pass that was hidden from view; the ridge of rocky pinnacles straight ahead looked far too high up and inaccessible. We were of course wrong. It was another steep boulder field climb to get to the ridge but when we emerged at the top we were greated by an almost vertical drop the other side and the most amazing views over the Lakes of Capitellu and Melo. The next section was a very slow traverse around the almost horseshoe shaped ridge to the other side, and it was great to be able to look back across and see where we'd come from - this is an opportunity you rarely have during the first few days. Jack and I had a minor dispute over where to eat lunch - there wasn't anywhere that satisfied both `shady' and `good view of the lakes'. Sliced long life bread and apple puree puts anyone back in an agreeable mood again though.

The refuge was one of the better ones - showers purely cold as opposed to freezing, three friendly female gardiens busy at work in their kitchen who even let us use the indoor cooking facilities, and cans of tuna for sale. I very much enjoyed sitting at the table and eating my 250g of slightly tomatoey pasta with tuna, such a novelty, though it was a shame Jack doesn't like fish. The tiny cooking and dining hut was packed full of hikers, including a group of Scousers. They had come on a two-day hike from Corte, the old Corsican capital which we were planning on visiting on our rest day, so we asked if they thought it would make a good day trip. One of them replied that, seeing as we were students, we'd absolutely love it because it had a brilliant night life with karaoke bars and everything. Not quite the information we were after. They also weren't used to trail prices; they kept complaining that their 2€ 50 glasses of wine were not particularly special and had come in a plastic cup. Jack and I thought it was great, far better than our college red and at most refuges you'd pay 4€ for it.

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