On To Ajaccio

November 11, 2010

We have finally made it to Ajaccio, our last stop in Corsica.  We’re at the Best Western and love the big room, all the nice amenities and excellent service – at the best rate so far!  We love American style hotels!!  That’s not to knock the other places we’ve stayed.  We spent three nights in Devil Village and enjoyed the big Labradors that slept in the entrance, the Corsican service and the big room.  It’s just different, that’s all.

We set off from Sartene this morning in sunshine.  It was tempting to try and go back to trek through the sites in Pianu di Levie but we kept remembering the ladies at the Museum warning us about people who slipped on the wet rocks and mud and decided we’d be pushing our luck.

It’s only 57 kilometers to Ajaccio from Sartene, but we spent the whole day getting there.  There is the nice auto route that takes about an hour and fifteen minutes.  Nahhhh.

We took the road less traveled and wound around every mountain between the two cities on the coast route.  That took us about eight hours including a lunch stop at Olmetto, a small village north of Propriano.  This was an event in and of itself.  I’d say more than 90 percent of the restaurants are closed, especially those in the resort areas near the beach.  This time we lucked out.  The restaurant was cheerful with its bright yellow paint, huge windows filled with sunshine, flowers everywhere.  It was filled, every table, and every spot in the parking lot.  That was a good sign.  We had a lovely lunch, expensive as everything is now for us poor Americans, but it was good.

Lunch was a consolation prize since we’d been disappointed at Filatosa.  We stopped to give one last try to get in.  Arriving there, a Jack Russell Terrier was very pleased to see us and lavish in his welcome.  That was it.  Two more cars pulled up, also trying to get in to see the stentari and other artifacts.  We explained  there was a telephone number to call and perhaps with eight people they’d let us in to have a look around.  One of the men pulled out his phone and tried, but no luck. We all left very disappointed.  It seemed to be a fabulous place to visit as we could see the stone figures when we hung over a fence.  It was so close to the entrance.  It would’ve been the only site not requiring a long trek to see.  Damn!

We patted the Jack Russell one more time and left.  Then we were on the hunt for an ancient ruined castle and a church filled with wonderful frescos.  Struck out again after spending hours winding around country roads and up and down mountains.  After going back and forth over the same road sometimes four times, we gave up.  We think we might have found one entrance, but the entrance was another muddy and rutted dirt road and we had no idea how far we’d have to take it.  It’s clear; to get to some of the sites you really need a 4-wheel drive with big wheels.  The little putt-putt we have was straining to get up most of the hills in first gear.  There’s no way to take it over the dirt roads with puddles who knows how deep.

So, when we saw an open restaurant there was no way to stop the car from pulling into the parking lot.  If a car could have its tongue out and panting, ours was.  It almost heaved a sigh of relief when I turned off the key.

After lunch, it was on the road again and up and down the mountains.  By the time we arrived in Ajaccio I was sick and tired of shifting and driving.  Thank you Best Western for giving us such a nice room.

Looking at my camera, I hardly took any photos today.  Same old mountains, same old ocean, same old rocks.  It’s funny; by now we’ve gotten into the swing of things, the rhythm of Corsica.  And just when it’s about time to leave.  Tomorrow we have the day to snoop around Ajaccio, re-pack our suitcases and relax a little bit before heading back to mainland France.  We’re taking the overnight Corsican Ferry Saturday night, arriving in Toulon Sunday AM and will drive towards Nice and spend the night someplace close to the airport.  We leave on Monday afternoon, spend the night in Madrid, then back to LAX.

We have probably been gone too long.  Melinda just walked into our room and it took her ten minutes to realize that I was watching CNN in English.  It’s the first time we’ve been able to get it so it’s a real treat .

Wow, it’s funny how time is viewed on a trip like this.  It seems like we have been gone forever on one hand, and we’re not really ready to get home.  Then, on the other hand it seems to have flashed by so quickly and there is so much left to see.  But we miss all our friends and the dogs.  We are really dog-deprived…and I can’t wait to play bridge and see everyone!!!


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