Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Walking in Corsica - Evisa and the Foret d’Aitone

The road up to Evisa from Porto is very scenic, but full of potholes and wildlife, so take care! Having picked up a guide to the marked trails and walks in the area from the local tourist office, my main aim this afternoon was to walk up to the natural rock pools in the Aitone Forest which is an easy walk of an hour or so, following part of the ‘Mare a Mare’ walk up to the Col di Verghio.

It has been exceptionally hot the last few days and I’d run out of water so I decided to stop off first and fill up at the water fountain in the village. Evisa is a deceptively large and sprawling village, but I managed to find a parking spot in the centre just overlooking the church.

I could see the black clouds hovering overhead and was praying that the weather would hold, and as so often happens in Corsica it had cleared by the time I’d filled my water bottles. I took the time to wander through the village which seemed quite busy, and the caffé di a Posta in particular was full of Americans who, a bit like Withnail, seemed to have come on holiday to Evisa by accident if their conversation was anything to go by!

The walk starts about a mile or so out of the village heading in the direction of Vico, and it is easy to find as there are nearly always cars parked. The first trail you come to heading out of the village is ‘La Chataigneraie’ which is a nice walk lined with chestnut trees, heading back towards the village with some amazing views over the gorge. The second trail starts shortly after and heads down to the cascades. This walk starts as a wide path through the pines and ferns, with information posts along the way.

You soon come to a junction where you can head down to the first lot of little waterfalls, or continue on to the right following the orange waymarkers and the Mare a Mare Bocca di Verghju sign. The path here becomes more rocky and steeper, but brings you down to some pretty little cascades and flat rocks which if you can negotiate your way down, are ideal for sun bathing.

It was here that I was too busy looking at the scenery instead of where I was going and managed to twist my ankle and lose my footing, nearly pitching myself headforwards over the edge! I already had a gammy toe and a blister from wearing my walking shoes without socks earlier in the day (not clever!) so I was not best pleased.

Shortly after, the path reaches a section where you have to cross the gorge on a bridge suspended by wire with metal steps. The moment you put your foot onto one of the metal plates, the bridge starts to move and reminded me of yet another reason why I will never be on ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here’. At that point I decided that with my various injuries I should probably call it a day and head back.

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