It is early morning when we break the tent and leave to enjoy sunrise on the Corsican Mountains. Shortly after the peaks are tainted pink while the mountains are still in the shade, we descend to the river to cook another hearty oatmeal breakfast with tea and coffee to warm us up after a cold night. Studying our Rite in the Rain notebook where we wrote down the profiles of the stage, we are getting ready for a fairly easy day: 13 kilometres with an elevation gain of only 500 metres and a loss of 590 metres, mostly non-technical.
As we are filling up our Laken aluminium water bottles in the river before heading up, we realize that we should not suffer from any water shortage as there are many streams we will be crossing today from which we can safely drink thanks to our Katadyn filters. Depending on seasons and when specifically in the season, water is not always omnipresent and the evidence becomes visible when we cross large parts of burnt trees. The heat wave of the summer of 2017 has been unforgiving with more than 200 wildfires starting that destroyed more than 200 hectares and forced the authorities to close a large section of the GR 20 for a few weeks.
Focussed on the trail we spot a fire salamander. According to the beliefs of mountain dwellers, the fact that the salamander is walking on a flat indicates sunny weather. So we keep going with high spirits all the way to the Cold de Verde that is connected to the road and offers all commodities. The most critical commodity of the day is the TV with the live broadcast of the 8th final of the soccer world cup. The French team is playing against Argentina and if many Corsicans do not feel French, they are all cheering for their national team as the Pietra beer flows. The winning of France is celebrated over a home-made balanced dinner with vegetables, pork cutlets, local cheese and chocolate mousse!
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Marcella & Claire
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