Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 5 - Corsica!!

on the ferry...Our wake-up call came at 4:45 am!  Seriously?  The ferry wasn't due to arrive until 6am, but they wanted to make sure everyone knew that breakfast was available and that we needed to be out of our rooms in time for them to be cleaned.  We had brought pain chocolat with us, and enjoyed it on the deck watching Corsica's rugged silouhette grow larger and larger on the horizon as the moon was setting....
and the sun was rising...

Arriving in L'Ile Rousse we headed straight for a cafe for some caffeine...and the sunrise...
here's our ferry...the yellow one...
We found the train station, which wouldn't open until 7am, so we relaxed at a picnic table near the port.  When the train station opened we learned that the first tram to Calvi wouldn't leave until 10am, so we had three hours.  We wandered to the center of the village, had another breakfast, then went to the beach for a most pleasurable nap in sand.

Another coffee and on to the Tram to Calvi.

The coastline between L'Ile Rousse is spectacular. One breathtaking view after
another. The rattle-trap tram chugs its way along full of sun-seeking tourists headed
for some beach or this one for example...yes, lined with tamarisk!

This beach close to Calvi had an amazing aqua-play area...we thought it looked like a lot
of fun...

In Calvi we spent at least 1/2 hour wandering around looking for the Avis rental car
office...even the Gendarms didn't know where it was and sent us off in the wrong
direction! We finally found them (after a visit to the most unhelpful tourisme office) and
got our car....a violet (PINK!) Renault Twingo...cute little two-door car....just adorable.
Two chicks driving around in a pink car. too funny!

The drive on to Porto was phenomenal! the views were spectacular, the road was tiny,

the cliffs on the ocean side were precipitous and I don't think I got out of 3rd gear...most
of the drive was in 2nd. We settled on Les Oliviers camping, a gorgeous campground
that packs in the campers, but still manages to maintain a sense of privacy. The
swimming pool is wondrous...beautifully sculpted into a fake rock cliff with stair-stepped
pools. There was a waterfall thing, that I thought was a slide, but the rock was really
rough, so I can't imagine sliding down it.

One of the other amazing aspects of this campground and its pool is the view...

The landscape reminds us of the mountains in New Zealand....young and craggy. The
vegetation has the same texture as the NZ bush, but here it's called the 'maquis'...was the
star trek resistance movement named after this? My french teacher told us that during
WWII the maquis was very important to the resistance fighters....dense bush where you
can hide.

Back to the blanket of vegetation...imagine a bumpy green carpet of many different
shades of green all the way down to the sea...I need to find a good picture...I'm sure I
took one.

We pitched our 29 euro Decathalon tent for the first time and immediately put on our
swim suits and headed for the pool. Aaaah. cool water and a good book and a nice nap.

Dinner at the restaurant at the pool. It's really good! surprise surprise. they make wood
fired pizza and great salads...with a glass of kir and a monaco, we were happy.

Then we had the great idea to walk to the beach thinking maybe we could see the sun set.
The walk was a bit longer than we expected and we nearly missed couchant soleil...but
caught this just in time...