That’s it, we have just started the last stage of the Northern part of the GR 20! A short 10-kilometre stretch. Just one last uphill before a smooth 1,230-metre downhill into the small settlement of Vizzavona, or so we thought.
The uphill trains our heart again as it is steep and a lot longer than expected!
We pass by some cows with their calves before we arrive at the top where the not-so-smooth but rather very, very long and steep downhill follows. The first section is mineral with many waterfalls while the part section takes us through the pine forest. Bits by bits we come across day hikers easily recognizable by their shower gel and cologne scents and small back packs. It gets busier and busier and people bath in the emerald-coloured waterholes. We are clearly getting back into civilisation and start cheering by the sight of the first people on All Stars and flip flops: we can not be far from the village!
On one hand, we are getting closer to our comfortable hotel, bed and hopefully delicious dinner or for sure one for which we will not order any form of pastas to change from our usual diet! On the other hand, the atmosphere is now very different. The friendly and exhausted faces we have been getting used to for the past nine days are absorbed by the crowds looking at us with a mix of admiration and complete misunderstanding.
A few kilometres later we are triumphantly walking the small street of Vizzavona. Sitting at a terrace and sipping a local Pietra beer, chatting with our GR 20 friends, grabbing a bite while waiting for a Corsican dinner… Small pleasures take a different dimension. Some hikers are done and hop in the train. Some have just arrived to try either the Southern or Northern stretch, and a few are just resting before resuming the GR 20 for their second week on the trail. Just like us.
Happy to have completed the toughest part of the GR 20, even happier after a good dinner and laying down in a comfortable bed, we fall asleep fast already dreaming about the Southern stretch…
Marcella & Claire
- For gear tips, stay tuned: in a couple of weeks some exclusive posts to help you select your gear will be published.
- For a bird’s eye view and to get access to all the GR 20 articles, please refer to this prologue article.
- All types of accommodation are available in Vizzavona from comfortable 3-star hotels to bivouac spots.
- Check out this interactive map for the specific details to help you plan your trip and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area! To download the GPS track, refer to this short tutorial.