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CGras

2019 Corsica trip (non T7)

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CGras

Before I start, please forgive me for posting a ride report that doesn't feature a T7. But I guess some might like it anyway. 😉

 

So last year my brother and I decided to do a 10 day trip to the island of Corsica. At that time I had about 1 year of riding under my belt and not that much experience on long trips. I was riding my BMW G 650 GS, my first bike. My brother was on his Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom which had about 2000km on the clock.

 

We left on a sunday morning in Luxembourg and took the motorway to get as far south as we could that day which was about 700km. We spent the night in Valence and the following day we ditched the motorway and headed off to Toulon via small roads to catch the ferry in the evening.

 

Along the way we came across beautiful scenery and great roads. This is a part of France I want to go back to and spend some more time some day.

 

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Some very nice towns along the way as well.

 

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This was the type of road we used for the most part.

 

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For some reason somebody had decided to dump a boat into the forest on top of a mountain. 😆

 

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After about 400km and a good day of riding we finally reached the port of Toulon where we joined a long line of bikes, cars and trucks ready to board the ferry. The bikes usually go first which is always exciting, especially with only about a years worth of riding experience. 

 

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So we parked our bikes, took our stuff for the night and headed up to our cabin for the night. 

While the trucks were still being loaded into the belly of the ship, we went for our first beer that day. 

 

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About half an hour later, the ship started moving and we set off.

 

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And with the sun setting behind the hills we said goodbye to mainland France and headed to Bastia where we would arrive the following day.

 

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The night was short since we had to get up early in the morning to be ready to get off the ship at about 8am. Unfortunately we had to wait for all the cars to get out before leaving the ferry.

 

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This meant that there was already a huge traffic jam outside the port. So we decided to leave Bastia as quickly as possible and head north to Cap Corse, the northern tip of the island. Along the way we stopped for breakfast at a small cafe.

 

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And after about one and a half hours of riding we reached the northern tip of Corsica at Tollare. Tollare is a very small town and not a common tourist destination at all since it is only reachable by small bad roads. We only met two other bikers on the way.

 

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From there we headed south to get to Corte where we would spend the next two nights. Along the way we crossed the Desert des Agriates which has a fantastic road going through it.

 

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And some very small and windy mountain roads.

 

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That night we checked into our hotel and went out into town to grab something to eat. The food has been awesome on this trip, definitely not light but very tasty.

 

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The next day we woke up to blue skies and warm weather.

 

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Perfect for our ride to the Desert des Agriates where we wanted to take one of the many offroad tracks that cross it. 

 

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There had been a lot of rain in the weeks before so the track was still very wet in some places.

 

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But it is well worth it to go all the way since you will end up in small secluded bays with nobody else around. Perfect place to spend some time and take a break.

 

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The next day we just rode around some of the roads in the mountains around Corte. On our way we came across this burnt out Kawasaki. Makes you wonder what had happened here.

 

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The two nights after that we spent in the mountains in central Corsica. The town of Aullène where we had booked into a small hotel is nearly abandoned. It sadly suffers the same fate as most towns in the mountains. People leave for the bigger towns and cities leaving a basically empty town behind. 

 

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And with a last picture of my booze that night I will end part 1. Cheers 😉

 

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CGras

On with part two.

 

The next day we decided to cross the mountains and the Col de Bavella which is one of the greatest roads with lots of scenic views and great riding. Of course this means that it is very crowded during summer. Luckily this wasn't the case when we were there. But sadly the weather decided to turn on us as well. It rained a little and the temperatures had dropped well below 20°C.

 

These are the Bavella mountains. Very rugged terrain and popular among hikers. A hiking trail known as the GR20 crosses this area as well. It is a very tough trail and only recommended to the fitest and most experienced hikers. It is not uncommon for people to get badly injured or even die in these mountains.

 

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We arrived back in Aullène late that day. Here's some of the residents of the town. There's more cows and goats than people actually. 😄

 

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This is on of the main roads crossing the mountains. It had been redone recently and was in perfect condition. Something that can't be said about most roads on Corsica.

 

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The next day we headed south towards Bonifacio, the southern most town on the island. Along the way we crossed the mountains further south and passed the lac de l'Ospedale. This is a man made reservoir only used for drinking water. It is fed by the melting snow in spring and dries out nearly entirely over the course of the summer.

 

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The moutains and forests seem to go on forever. I love the landscape up in these mountains, it is a very unique kind of nature.

 

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After riding down another windy road we finally reached sea level again. This is already pretty far south.

 

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We spent the night in a hotel in Bonifacio which is a very touristy town but still worth a visit. It is perched ontop of white cliffs to the south and has a rich history reaching from pirates to independance wars and finally to the french foreign legion which was based here for a long time. 

 

In the distance you can see the island of Sardinia where I still want to go to as well.

 

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While having dinner that night, power went out for over an hour. So we were stuck in the restaurant until power came back. Not that it mattered though since they had beer and food to keep us happy.

 

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The next day we spent in the southern part of the island which is pretty flat but offers some very interesting landscape as well.

 

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And stunning sea views.

 

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The mountains are never far away though.

 

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Another night, another hotel. This time a holiday resort of some kind. It was cheap and very worn out. Kinda looked like it was built sometime during the 70's and hadn't been kept up since then. But the breakfast location made up for that.

 

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That day we went back up north and rode to the Restonica valley which is very scenic but also very crowded. The downside is that you have to turn around at the top and come back down again so there is a lot of oncoming traffic on these narrow roads.

 

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But it is still well worth the trip.

 

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From here you can take a hike up the mountain to a beautiful mountain lake. The hike is pretty difficult since you sometimes have to literally climb up the rocks. It is worth it though because this beautiful lake awaits you at the top. The water was freezing cold though so no swimming. 😆

 

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Over the next few days we relaxed a bit and took it easy. We did ride one of my favourite roads though, the Scala di Santa Regina. Beautiful rugged mountains, twisty roads and not a lot of traffic.

 

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And awesome spots to take a break and have lunch.

 

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The trip was finally coming to an end and it was time to leave the island and head back home. We ended our trip in Ajaccio where we joined a crowd of bikers in the port.

 

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Corsica was giving us a beautiful farewell with a sunset over the mountains.

 

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The ferry arrived an hour late that day. Unloading and loading went pretty quickly and it was soon time to leave and head back to mainland Europe.

 

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We arrived in Toulon on time and left the port as quickly as possible again. We stopped by a friends place down near Cannes where we had lunch together. After that we made our way back home. Initially we had planned to spend some days in the french alps but the weather forecast announced heavy thunder storms so we made the decision to take the motorway back home again.

 

And as the mediteranian sea was slowly but surely fading out of our rearview mirrors this trip came to and end. Ten days and nearly 4000km later we arrived back in Luxembourg. It was a great experience and I learned a lot about motorcycle traveling. Mainly that I packed way too much stuff and that hard panniers are huge and heavy on a small bike.

 

I hope you enjoyed my little report. 

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Edited by CGras
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Great Escape

Great write up and terrific photos 📷,  looked like a great trip 👌.  Im pleased for you....but pretty jealous as well!!😅, Cheers,  Steve 

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