Corsica overland adventure 2014
We packed up the Jeep and left on the Friday lunchtime trying to beat the Friday night traffic of the M25, as per last year we had booked into a travel lodge in Ashford where we met another couple. Pete and Zelda, I think they had had a worst journey than us as they arrived slightly later than anticipated, we all dumped our stuff and headed to a Franky and Bennys for something to eat.
Early morning we headed for the Euro-tunnel, We arrived early knowing this could be a busy journey down through France, it was also the start of the holiday season in mainland Europe so we were expecting lots of traffic problems. So far good, all on time with a quick crossing we set off thru France, the weather was good blue sky's things were looking good. Saturday night again we opted for a cheap hotel rather than unpacking all the stuff as we wanted to get going early.
we set off and all was ok, the roads were clear but very quickly the traffic began to build, then the GPS flashed up there was a problem, again, same as last year just before Lyon. We were still along way off and had over an hour till we got there so continued down keeping our eye on the problem. As we got nearer that problem cleared so we carried on through the center of Lyon.
Further south there was more problems and the motorway was shut in 2 places, with this we decided to take a wide berth and cut across country, It was obviously slower and at one point we found ourselves on some trails but we missed the traffic and continued to head for Toulon, Pete and Zelda were not booked on the same ferry as us, they had opted for the Nice ferry the next day so just before Toulon we split and went our separate ways.
After our overnight ferry crossing and arriving in Corsica we headed straight to our first campsite, this site was bigger than last years but again right on the beach. Here we met up with Mark and Sarah (and family) and also Andy and Heather, their first 4x4 holiday adventure.
After pitching our tent and going to the beach for a while, we had lunch and set of for a easy trail to a beach.On our return stopping off at a hypermarket for supplies.Later that evening Pete and Zelda arrived.
, this was our first real day of the tour, Gareth and Miriam arrived early from the ferry port and decided they would have a day off and not join us today, Today's trails were all new so we had no idea of what to expect,we were to drive along the east coast before turning west into the mountains and cutting across to the west coast following that south then re cutting back east to the camp site,
The trails were at first very challenging, taking about 2 hours for us all to get up one hill, but once up we stopped for lunch the trails became easier which was a relief for us all,
Unfortunately Andy and Heather had had a problem throughout the day with their gearbox and it got worst so they decided to head straight back to camp and call the AA. At this point we didn't realize but this was to be the end of their tour in Corsica for them. It seemed quite a minor fault with a cable being stuck but it turned out the problem was internal and it was an automatic gearbox,
Another trip to another beach in the Desert, today Gareth and Miriam came with us whilst Andy and Heather tried to get there 4x4 sorted, this again was a new trail to us, we had heard this was challenging but when we drove it it was nearly doable in a normal car, Infact someone was trying to do it in a BMW 5 series, I wouldn't have tried.
we packed up and today was a road trip drive through the mountains to the center of the Island stopping in a mountain village, heading to the old Capital of Corsica, Corte where we arrived at lunchtime at our next campsite. Due to Andy and heathers problems it was unfortunate but we had to say goodbye here hoping they would get something sorted and join us later.
Again another road trip, this trip today was new to us, after alot of research we understood the route today would take us down the most spectacular route on the Island, It did not disappoint, Our plan was to head to the coast using this route to end up at a beach have lunch and then return, The route was amazing, taking us through a world UNESCO site before arriving at a superb beach for lunch and a dip.
Again we would leave camp and head to our final camp, a journey out of the mountains down to the coast before heading south, Unfortunately the campsite was not able to accommodate us but in honesty the site we then found was probably better for us as there was more room and the first campsite was very squashed,
We set off for a trail we had done the year before, it was a spectacular trail but on reaching the start it was barriered, Disappointing but it happens so we changed the plan and headed to another trail, the 'Piste des Seigneurs' this is like the Rubicon trail of Europe, about 3 kms long and takes 4 hours, without doubt the best trail I have ever driven. On completing this we headed back to camp for a quick dip in the pool, it had been another great and very hot day,
today was a rest day, apart going out in the morning to stock up on supplies most people spent the afternoon around the pool.
Today we would drive to Bonifacio. a place we all wanted to see, from here you could see Sardinia, we choose to take the not so easy route, we took the trails and the trails we took where brilliant, challenging in places and as we hadnt been down this part of the Island before everything was new and we didnt know what to expect around the next corner.
Upon reaching Bonifacio we walked to the port area and found a bar for abit of refreshment before heading back ourselves to camp and again a nice dip in the pool.
Some wanted to stay in camp today, the trails had been hard and everyone knew they had a long drive home in the next few days so a couple of us went for an explore one of the national parks of Corsica. We found a few trails and had to turn around once due to a landslide but the day was a great day on normal type trails before heading back to camp.
Packing up camp we needed to head back to the ferry port, this would mean cutting across the Island and we had a route on trails for this, After spending lunchtime on the beach we started to head back to the port for the ferry so we had time to park up and find something to eat at a local bar for the last time before boarding the ferry heading back to mainland France.
We had arrived in Nice, not the easiest of places to get out off, we filled up with fuel from the local Supermarket and set off, we had discussed driving north to the 'Canyon de Verdun', This took along time and we stopped here for lunch, We had been driving along time now and hadn't really got anywhere, we realized we were running late and had no chance of getting anywhere near where we had planned for the night.
After Lunch we set off and eventually made it to Lyon by about 7pm, we headed straight to a campsite, We now all knew we had to drive in 1 day back to Calais as our euro tunnel train was tomorrow night.
Early start, we set off at 8.00am, the day went really fine without a hiccup, we arrived early at the Euro tunnel to a massive que. We were allowed on a early train and headed back to the UK and to the wonderful M25 traffic.
What did we think of Corsica
This Tour was known to have some challenging trails, We had done an initial Recce in 2013, it was aimed for the more Experienced and It delivered as expected; all vehicles needed low range, good ground clearance and good tyres. There is a high risk of damage due to the rocks and rock crawling on a couple of lanes.
It is not a 100% offroad trip, there are complete days we spend at the campsite and other driving normal roads, these days although not off road did not disappoint,
In 2016 we are planing on going back, We will probably run the same route as 2014 again we have learnt a lot about Corsica, the people are very friendly, it is an amazing place and worth a visit,
In 2016 there will be 5 vehicle places + lead vehicle. We anticipate that these will go quickly.
Photos and Video
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