At Last! Return to Corsica

We’re aware that we must pay up for our stay at the site near Santa Theresa Gallura the evening before we leave, while reception is still open, as we’ll need to be early next morning to catch the ferry to Corsica. Feeling noble, I volunteer to make the descent down to the gate and pay, negotiating all the levels then flogging back up all the slopes and steps to our pitch at the top. Getting to the door of the van, I see Husband talking on his phone and once he’s done, he shares the news that our ferry for next morning is cancelled due to inclement weather and we won’t be departing for another couple of days.

‘Your turn’ I tell him. And he makes the steep descent back down to reception to re-book for two more nights. It leaves us with the knotty problem of how to occupy two days here in relative wilderness without beach weather. But it’s true that the skies are overcast and the stiff breeze is strengthening to gale level. Later, squally rain is added to the mix. I’ll admit to disappointment that we’re not leaving for Corsica just yet. There are a few places there left to see and not a lot besides reading or internet we can do here in the middle of nowhere except beach, which is not tempting in the wind and wet. Hmm-

With a day to fill, we opt to secure the van’s interior and go for a look at Santa Theresa Gallura, where we’ll be leaving from when the coast is clear. It’s only a couple of miles down the road. The town is hilly, with narrow streets but we find a car park that will accommodate the van and walk towards the beach front area. It’s very windy though not raining and when we reach the sea, we can see the strip of limestone cliffs that is the coast of Corsica across the choppy waters.

If you cross the sand into the corner of the small, sea-front beach there are steps up to a cliffside walkway. It doesn’t go all that far but is fun to walk round, especially with choppy waves splashing up, although the only option is to return via the same route. After this, we wander the town a bit. It’s pleasant enough, with some attractive squares and plenty of gift shops. Then it’s on to have a look where we’ll be getting the ferry and to ‘Eurospin’ for groceries.

Next morning we’re up early to prepare for the crossing, arriving at the port to join a queue for the ancient ferry, which is already waiting. We get a coffee and pastry from the portside cafe then I’m told to vacate and board as a pedestrian while Husband waits. Soon I can watch while he turns the van and reverses into the mouth of the boat whilst being shouted and gesticulated at. We’re learning, by now, that this is the way of Italian ferry workers.

There’s not much sun, but I can’t help standing to watch as our vessel approaches Bonifacio, the white cliffs growing larger, the medieval buildings on their overhanging ledge. I’ve already taken far too many photos of this picturesque city! Then we’re rounding the cliffs into harbour and as Husband descends to the hold to get the van, I follow the pedestrian walkway out to meet him. There’s just the steep ramp of road up from the quay to negotiate- thankfully without obstacle or need to pause this time. We’re back on Corsica!

Grace is also known as the novelist, Jane Deans. Her new novel, The Conways at Earthsend is available from Amazon, Waterstones, Goodreads, W H Smith, Pegasus Publishing and many more sites. Visit my website: janedeans.com or my author page on Facebook: (1) Jane Deans, Novelist, Short Fiction and Blog | Facebook.

Isuledda? Yes we is…

In a typical episode of senile dementia fog memory lapse, neither Husband nor I remember the Costa Smeralda site of Isuledda until we’re about half a mile away, then bells begin to ring and once we’ve turned off the road and up their driveway we pass a spot with a hosepipe where we’d washed our [previous] van prior to departure and I’m certain. Yes. We stayed here in 2016, on our way up from Sicily.

But wow, has it changed! Their reception building is familiar, but that’s about all. Last time we chose our pitch, down by the water on a terraced section. This time the waterside pitches are ‘premium’, meaning you pay more. We’re taken on a zooming golf cart ride to view available pitches away from the water, round some bends, up a hill and along some lanes. There’s been an explosion of chalet installation and the entire place has expanded, spreading over far more land. We choose a place and get returned to reception, where we check in and we’re soon installed among the German vans. This trip, as well as the last excursion to the south-west of France, has been dominated by German tourists. We’ve no problem or complaint with this. They are always friendly, chatty and pleasant. But we’d have liked a more cosmopolitan set of neighbours- for variety.

In the next aisle there’s a bus. It’s there for a group of Czech cyclists, who are camping just down the lane from us, have their own caterer and pile on to the bus each day with their packed lunches, followed by a trailer carrying their bikes. They are brave and fit to be cycling the roads here in Sardinia!

We’re on a kind of hillock, almost overlooking the sea. If it felt like end of season was approaching in one or two of the previous sites, here there’s no sign of it. The place is full to bursting. There’s a waterside cafe and a new bar area, besides the restaurant that was here before, also some kind of performance arena- not in use this late in the season, for which we can be glad.

We spend our first day walking along to the nearest town, Cannigione, to get lunch. We’ve been before but it’s a pleasant walk with lovely coastal views. There isn’t a lot to the town but we find a pleasant cafe on the front and afterwards it takes next to no time to see the rest of the place.

We can access the beach near our pitch but an attempt to spend time relaxing there next day is thwarted by a strong, cool breeze so we opt to walk instead, falling foul of the billowing drizzle that begins to fall. It all lends more ‘end of season’ to the days, especially after all the heat.

It’s time to move on to our last Sardinian destination, a couple of miles outside Santa Theresa Gallura, where we’ll be getting the ferry in two days’ time. The site is steep and terraced, the road curling up and up. We opt for a pitch at the top, near the bar and restaurant where wifi is available.

There’s beach access down a steep and rocky track but it’s worth the walk and the climb back up. The coastline here is rocky and characterful, although there’s a stiff breeze again.

Our neighbours on site are a couple from Luxembourg, very proud owners of a brand, new VW van. They are new to touring but enthusiastic. We show them our https://www.acsi.eu/en/ discount card and campsite book and they discover the savings they could have made!

Grace is also known as the novelist, Jane Deans. Her new novel, The Conways at Earthsend is available from Amazon, Waterstones, Goodreads, W H Smith, Pegasus Publishing and many more sites. Visit my website: janedeans.com or my author page on Facebook: (1) Jane Deans, Novelist, Short Fiction and Blog | Facebook.