Sunday, 12 May 2013

CORSICA May 2013: Arrival & Col de Sorba

Megan and I went to Corsica for a week in early May.  We used the very efficient Oakhurst 'park-at-my-house' and were dropped at Gatwick in good time to catch the 06:00 EasyJet flight to Ajaccio.  There we picked up a Renault Kangoo from Europcar.  As it was a Sunday and most of the supermarkets/shops were closed we drove into Ajaccio to find a 'convenience' Spar and stocked up with some basic supplies to last us a couple of days.  We'd booked 4 nights in a self-catering studio apartment at the Vanina Park in Corte and as the main Corsican Nuthatch site was only 3 kms off the N193 Ajaccio-Corte main road (down the D69) and the weather looked to be holding off we tried it on the way, arriving late morning.  We walked along the first km of the track, through superb Corsican pines, before the clouds came down and we were drenched by a very heavy shower, but not before we'd seen Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Corsican Nuthatch (3), Jay, Corsican Finch (6) and Cirl Bunting - an excellent start.  Back at the car the rain soon turned to light drizzle and we decided to drive the final 6 kms to the Col de Sorba (itself another nuthatch site).  Soon we hit the low cloud and a succession of very tight hairpin bends but with nowhere to turn around we continued on to the top in increasingly poor visibility. Fortunately there was no other traffic on the road at this point.  We returned to the N193 and continued on to Corte where we sorted ourselves out and, with the weather improving, walked around town. 
view from Col de Sorba track before the clouds came down

always nice to see the main target bird on day one, even if not the ideal views!
view of Corte from our balcony
a closer view during an evening walk that was livened up by a singing Serin
Corte citadel

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