We can proudly say that we have returned from Corsica on our GR20 adventure.
We are back early, but overall we had a totally fantastic time. In 5.0 days we managed to complete the first 10, day stages (i.e. 2 per day) of the GR20.
2 factors prevented us from going further:
- Marcus's schedule was found to be somewhat unrealistic and on the third day we did not make it to Castel di Verghio thereby meaning we would miss our connections at the end of the trip
- Agata's Salomon boots were found to be too small and on downward sections caused her considerable pain.
Here are the full set of links for our trip
GR20 Read this first
GR20 Essential Kit
GR20 What not to take
00 Saturday AM: Journey to Calvi and Calenzena
01 Saturday PM: Calenzena to Refuge D'Ortu di u Piobbu
02 Sunday AM: Ortu di u Piobbu to Carrozzu
03 Sunday PM: Carozzu to Asco Stagnu / Haut' Asco
04 Monday AM: Asco Stagnu to Refuge de Tighjettu
05 Monday PM: Refuge de Tighjettu to Ciottulu a i Mori
06 Tuesday AM: Ciottulu a i Mori to Castel di Verghio
07 Tuesday PM: Castel de Verghio to Refuge de Manganu
08 Wednesday AM: Refuge de Manganu to Refuge de Petra
09 Wednesday PM: Petra Piana to Refuge de L'Onda
10 Thursday AM: Refuge de L'Onda to Vizzavona
11 Thursday PM: Vizzavona to Ajaccio
12 Friday AM: Ajaccio to Lausanne
And what were the highlights of the trip for us:
Beautiful Corsican scenery: First and hopefully not the last time we will experience this
A trek like no other: This was no walk in the woods or country path. You will often be scrambling on he side of a mountain. If you slip it will be life threatening
Solitude: Despite it being GR20 high season during any stage we only saw a handful (say 6 or less) people. This gave us great opportunity to admire the scenery and really talk to each other.
Marcus learns about camping the hard way: I had never appreciated the essentials of camping including how to setup your tent, and the basic washing, cleaning and eating facilities you have to get accustomed to. Quite an eye opener.
Marcus learnt downhill trail running: During the last 2 days I found a method of downhill running. Previously I had always descended with rather stiff legs. This meant a very slow descent. Instead if:
- Your ankles are strong enough, your shoes are tight (without slip), your rucksack is well packed and compact with no outer lose objects then:
- You can develop a running style (without poles) that is composed of very fast and short steps. At each step try to pick a next rock that is solid (not lose). But even if it's lose you spend so little time as you transfer weight to the next step on the other foot that you should not fall over.
- Further, each gradient has its logical speed, the steeper gradients are tackled by oscillating left and right more, the shallow gradients you are more a less straight down. In this way your vertical descent speed is almost constant.
- This techniques works even if you are in boots (not trail shoes) and even if you are carrying about 11Kg of rucksack.
Unlimited eating: With at least 10 hours of walking, climbing, running, traversing per day, calorie intake for once was not an issue. Hello to full fat Corsca Cola, Chocolates, Pasta, and Magnum Ice creams.