Saturday, 23 October 2010

Day 7 - Refuge de Pietra Piana to Bergeries de l'Onda

This was one of the days that it had been recommended we take the high-level alternative route, though it seemed like a bit of a cop out as it was shorter and with less total climb than the official GR20 route. Initially we had some difficulty following the path (yellow paint blobs can look incredibly like lichen) but this became easier once we got onto the ridge and from there it was a windy and technically challenging walk but with great views both east and west of the ridge. We reached a junction of paths about ten minutes from the refuge where we met Denis and Pascal. They turned out to be going straight on to Vizzavona; something we could also have done had we not wanted to take the high route on the next day too. This was sad news as Martine and Emmanuel had left us the day before so we were now surrounded by strangers again, but oh well, plenty of new friends to be made.
We arrived at the Bergeries before midday, feeling like we hadn't deserved our lunch yet. So we decided to leave our packs and run the 4km through the woods to the Bergeries de Tolla, as our favourite guidebook author Paddy Dillon had told us we'd find a `mouthwatering menu' there. Unfortunately they weren't serving meals but we did buy a loaf of bread and some authentic, good quality Corsican cheese. On the way back Jack went for a swim in the river but I elected not to, having cooled down a bit since the run and instead sunbathed on a rock (clearly I just wanted to save myself for the cold shower). It was very amusing watching a group of day trippers walk from one side of the footbridge to the other as Jack swam underneath them, as if he was some kind of intriguing marine animal. There was yet more tasteless carbonara pasta with yummy tuna for dinner, and this time Jack had his goat's cheese to make up for it.

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