This was around seven in the evening. I was walking from my tent at Haut Asco towards the restaurant. It’s not a scenic place for your tent. Haut Asco is a ski resort with a ski lift. I found a flat place amongst trees which meant the view, although restricted, was private and serene. That happens sometimes on a long trip. I’ve had nights at a rural caravan site (Olorons), town caravan site (Luz St Sauveur) and amongst rough woods in the Pyrenees (Bujaruelo) where I was frightened. I had a rough night too down a gully below Illgill Head at Wasdale in the Lake District. It was neither scenic nor comfortable but I had no choice.

These rough mountains are towards Monte Cinto. As the crow flies, as the saying goes, you would arrive at its summit directly ahead. Haut Asco has a hotel, bar, coffee bar, restaurant and refuge. It doesn’t feel wild. It was pleasant having good food and tepid showers. The Austrian chap took a rest day here, while I attempted a climb up to Cinto and the British party succeeded in doing so. In hindsight a rest day would have made a good decision. The evening before, I discussed Cinto with the Irish army doctor and another lady, I forget where she was from. She said Cinto was not very interesting. I said yes, I understand that, because the same is said about Aneto in the Pyrenees. Posets, second highest mountain, is far more beautiful. I decided to see for myself and the walk was not especially attractive.

There was food and comfort at Haut Asco but if I had rested there it would have been very boring. The day passes and you have nothing to do apart from browse postcards, read your guide book or novel, take little exploratory walks, perhaps sit in the bar and find some conversation: but few people are around.

There were more single people in Corsica than I’ve experienced in the Pyrenees. I don’t know if that’s characteristic. The doctor and lady above were walking on their own, so too the Quebec girl, the other army doctor (although he spliced closely with the British party), a chap from London, and the Austrian chap. You never know what will happen socially on a mountain trip: whom if any you will meet, can talk to in English, sit with at dinner, and perhaps walk with. I mostly walk on my own but like company in the evening.

 

Corsican Skies: Haut Asco Evening

Wednesday October 7, 2015