This is about two hours into the walk from Carozzu to Haut Asco. It begins with a forest path and continues up smooth slabs which you see here below. Parts of the slabs have chains which, when it’s dry, are mostly unnecessary. There are however a few GR20 places where the chains are useful. Several times I reflected that you find comparable parts of the Pyrenees with no chains.

Following the GR20 paint flashes is easy and pleasant. I followed a route here which led me astray, however, which meant I missed a designated water source. I’m not sure exactly what happened. Book information is extremely sparse and if the terrain becomes even slightly complex, you never fully resolve the problem. Fortunately the general plan was obvious, although I was eventually following an old paint flash track which wasn’t in my book.

It felt a little like Greece. Sea in the distance, a rambling rocky area, gorge-like, such as you find on the south coast of Crete. You climb to Lac de la Muvrella where it seems most people stop for lunch. A German couple where there whom I’d seen earlier in the day. A large party were close to the lake whom I didn’t recognise from anywhere. I ate and rested for about an hour, which is not something I do very often. There was plenty of time if you weren’t concerned about reaching Asco mid afternoon. Most people like to finish the day early. Its a good feeling but I prefer to extend the day, or accept the fact that I’m walking slowly.

The Foreign Legion arrived at Muvrella. It was the second time I’d seen them. They dropped their packs, sat or spoke quietly while standing, and moved off again after five minutes. They cross the GR20 very quickly, taking perhaps seven days. The record time is 32 hours, 54 minutes and 24 seconds achieved by a Spanish chap called Kilian Jornet. It takes ordinary people about two weeks so it’s a difficult fact to comprehend.

From Muvrella you climb up and across to Bocca i Stagni where the Haut Asco valley is suddenly revealed. The final descent is long, rocky and tedious. I didn’t find it too bad but I have done, on similar rocky slopes in the Pyrenees and Lake District. You leave the sea behind you, not visible for a few days.

 

Corsica GR20: Carozzu to Haut Asco

Sunday September 20, 2015