Monday, 31 May 2010


The first thing you notice about Lumio when you explore on foot is how many of the houses have ‘go faster stripes’ where visiting cars have misjudged the narrow streets, but the village is so pretty, why would you want to drive straight through?

I left the car in the parking area by the church. There are a few different ways that you can reach the village centre, and I think I must have previously arrived from a different direction, as I have never noticed the beautiful façade before.

I took the time to wander through the narrow cobbled alleyways and under the vaulted archways and discovered some beautiful old stone houses with colourful flowers tumbling over the walls.

I really wasn’t sure whereabouts in the village I was, but I kept on climbing upwards, and it wasn’t long before I had a view over the red tiled roofs to the old bell tower.

The other thing I noticed about Lumio was that like many villages, the cats seem to outnumber the human inhabitants! This one was particularly cute, rubbing his head against the flowers (he obviously doesn’t suffer from hayfever like I do!).

He was absolutely gorgeous, if a little noisy – I didn’t know cats could mew so loudly!

I have always really liked Lumio; it has all the charm of a village whilst still being just a few minutes from the fabulous Arinella Plage and only 10-15 minutes from the bigger resorts of Calvi and Ile Rousse, so it was lucky I found a house for myself on the way back to car!

Unfortunately, it was fairly huge and the position was amazing with spectacular views over the bay of Calvi so I suspect it would be well out of my price range even if it had been for sale (which it wasn’t!). Probably just as well.

So, with a quick look back at the village from the car park, there was just time for a quick coffee before heading home...

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Pool safety in Corsica

Today was an absolute scorcher; no wind, boiling hot sunshine and not a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to sneak off to the beach, but now that the pools are open, I decided to treat myself to a refreshing dip at lunchtime.

It’s the law in Corsica that all pools must be fenced with a child-proof gate or alarm for greater child safety which is a great idea. However, I have never been able to decide whether I am right handed or left handed which means that I am completely hopeless with locks...

Amazingly, I managed to get in and as it’s still quite early in the season I had the place to myself, so I could amuse myself taking photos and indulging in a spot of undisturbed sunbathing while I dried off. It wasn’t until it was time to leave that I realised that I couldn’t get out!

In the end one of our neighbours had to come to my rescue – lucky he’d been eating outside otherwise he would never have heard me! Next time, I’ll skip the swim and just have my lunch on the balcony instead.

Today I decided to treat myself to a feast of Mortadella from Bologna, Corsican cheese, cornichons and some delicious Apple chutney with flame grilled tomato and garlic from good old Tescos – absolutely scrummy!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Sunset over the Valinco Gulf

Todays wispy cloud really took hold this evening which gave us the most amazing sunset. I even managed to catch a sail boat in the middle of the gulf.

I was also pleased to see that it was pink rather than red which momentarily took my mind off my sunburn from the beach earlier!

A cautionary tale...

Today was a little hazy, but as I had the whole day to myself to do just exactly what I pleased, I decided to head to the beach at Cappiciolo

It was very hot, but didn’t feel that sunny as the sky was covered in wispy clouds, but I know from experience that you can get caught out like that and burn very easily under cloud, so I lathered myself in sun cream and settled on the sand for a snooze.

I thought I was getting some strange looks in the supermarket, but it wasn’t until I got home that I realised there were a few bits I’d missed; a stripe on my forehead, a bright red left eye and nostril but worst was a sunburnt scar which is agonising.

Be warned people – the Corsican sun is very strong even through cloud, so you can easily get caught out even when you live here. Always use sun cream and don’t burn yourselves in the pursuit of a tan.

Little and often is the way to a bronzed sunkissed look (as opposed to a belisha beacon /fluorescent lobster colour which is not a good look for anyone!).

Friday, 14 May 2010

Plage de Tonnara (Goèland Beach), Bonifacio

It was a bit overcast at Propriano today, so I decided to head down to Bonifacio in search of a bit of sun, a decent walk and some fab photos. I never quite made it to the old town because my attention was caught by the sign for Tonnara.

I have never visited the Plage de Tonnara – also known as the Goèland Beach – although I knew roughly where it was, so as the sun was shining, it seemed the perfect opportunity to explore. The rocks in this area are exceptionally red, which makes the sand and the sea an unusual colour too.

The sea was really shallow, dotted with rocks, and I thought I’d spotted a seal just off the coast of the big island, but it turned out to be a bloke in a wetsuit which was far less exciting! I also had the feeling I was being watched and it soon became clear that I was being stalked by a pair of evil looking seagulls.

Luckily the Corsican seagulls are nowhere near as aggressive as those on the south coast of England, but I decided to leave the sea behind and continue on to the ‘Phare de Pertusato’ which is lighthouse 4km along the limestone cliffs from Bonifacio.

There is a fabulous walk here through the maquis. The smell from the honeysuckle was gorgeous and I was amazed at the range of wildflowers. The flowers of the maquis are normally predominantly yellow, but here they are all shades of pink from almost white through to purple and red which I guess is probably to do with the limestone in the soil.

After a couple of kilometers, I started to see the familiar craters made by the Sangliers (wild boars). It is an isolated spot and at this time of year not many walkers so although a photo of a boar would have been fab for the blog, I am not keen on large animals, so decided it was time to head home.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Qi-Gong classes on the beach in Propriano

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my Qi-Gong class, but because yesterday was a bank holiday, the village hall was closed, so we had to decamp to the beach. The beach behind ‘Le Lido’ was absolutely covered in poppies and wild flowers, so I found myself snapping away while I waited for the others to arrive.

Qi-gong (or ch'i kung) is a bit like Tai Chi. It uses slow graceful movements and techniques to promote the circulation of qi within the human body, and enhance overall health. In its simplest form, the Chinese character for qi, in qigong, can mean air, breath, or ‘life force’. Gong means work, so qi-gong means the practice of ‘working’ with your ‘life force’.

It was a glorious sunny day so we were there more than an hour during which time we managed to entertain a group of bikers and some early tourists who obviously wondered what on earth we were doing! One of the class suggested to Patricia (our fabulous teacher) that she should make a sign and see if she could recruit a few more ad-hoc students!

Saturday, 8 May 2010


It’s not often you see a bloke walking down the road in a full frogman outfit (complete with flippers), but that’s what happened to me on the way to Campomoro. Luckily, I didn’t have time to stop and investigate further as the sun was shining and I wanted to get to the beach

Every time I go to Campomoro I am surprised that I don’t come here more often as it’s just so beautiful. The beach stretches for miles and is so flat and shallow that it’s perfect for the little ones.

Today there was a little breeze which made tiny ripples in the sea, but it was the colours that caught my attention, especially as I got close to the jetty where the brightly painted fishing boats bobbed gently opposite the little speed boats

The Restaurant des Amis has probably the best views, looking out over the jetty ahead, and the huge sweep of golden sand to the right, but the terrace is shaded so it was actually the restaurants at the other end of the beach that were packed with people enjoying the warm afternoon sun while the children played on the sand.

I half considered walking up to the huge Genoese tower because it is one of the more fascinating examples and I could probably have done with the exercise after a scrummy lunch of gnocchi and salmon with a cheesy sauce, but the sun was so warm and enticing that in the end I gave in and found a nice spot to just sit and relax.

The beach here is amazingly shallow and slopes very gently down which gives the beach the appearance of stripes where the depths do finally change.

It also means that the water is warmed very quickly by the sun, so it wasn’t long before I found myself in the sea for the second time this year. Normally it has to be 30 degrees and water as warm as a bath before I’ll dip my toes!!

Sunset over the Valinco Gulf

What a strange few days it has been; a spot of rain in the morning and then sunshine to be replaced by cloud by late afternoon, but it has given us some amazing sunsets

Thank fully this morning normal service was resumed and I woke to clear blue skies and bright sunshine – hurrah!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Early summer flowers

Some days you just can’t get out from behind the computer, but when it’s 24 degrees and the sun is shining, those are the days that I find myself in the garden, wondering at the marvels of modern technology and Wireless internet connections in particular!

So, armed with my laptop and a sunlounger I settled myself outside but it wasn’t long before I was distracted by the smell. It was absolutely heavenley and I couldn’t work out where it was coming from. It turned out to be clump of freesias huddled in the shade of an oleander bush in my neighbours garden.

They were absolutely gorgeous in all colours from yellow through to a mottled red, so I knew that the moment the neighbours went back to the continent, I’d have a living room filled with that lovely smell!

With the (dubious) helps of the cats Minou, Bella and Lenny, who were following me round as though I was the Pied Piper of Hamlin because they thought they were going to get fed, we also found all sorts of pretty flowers that were just growing between the cracks in the paths between the houses.

I’m not normally so pleased that the gardener doesn’t weed properly!