The Cirque de la Solitude was closed because of weather damage and five fatalities. I suspect there will be a permanent alteration to the recognised GR20 route through Corsica. There were two alternatives. The first was a newly marked route, apparently scenic, but rough. I read that it needed eight hours for one person, ten for another, which in both cases made it unattractive for me. It would likely be ten or twelve hours. I have walked such long days in both Britain and the Pyrenees but my preference now is for reduced hours and more leisurely days. I get exhausted on my overseas trips, partly because of a food and calorie deficit, and a five or six hour walk in a dramatic place is more than adequate.

The second alternative from Haut Asco was a bus to a village called Calasima, which is the highest in Corsica. That led to an easy route of two or three hours up to Auberge U Vallone where you rejoin the GR20. I like bus rides around the mountains. You get to see the area differently, more expansively, and you’re on the move but simultaneously resting. I don’t do it very often but think I will plan for it in the future if it’s possible. In 2013 I took a bus from Torla to Parzan to avoid the Ordesa canyon in the Pyrenees. It didn’t go all the way to Parzan but it was close enough; I hitched the final part of it.

I enjoyed it here. It was a forested area but much of it was open, not closed with trees, and therefore scenic. I walked a little with the British party then on my own after they stopped for lunch and a swim. There was a road walk from the village then an easy path: not the rocks and boulders which I’d found exhausting and increasingly unpleasant.


Cirque de la Solitude Alternative: From Calasima

Friday October 9, 2015