Day 23 - Second and the last day in Corsica
Starting Point: Ajaccio
Distance : About 200 kilometers
On my second day in Corsica, I started with as large a breakfast as possible. I wanted to eat "in advance" to cover the price of the hotel which was much above my daily limit. After a few rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon, toasts, and 3 morning (quite good) coffees, I was ready to ride. Not walk, just ride. My belly became a balloon that served as a food storage for the next few hours, till I digested and I would have to stop and eat again.
The electronic store that I was looking for was just few kilometers from the hotel. I put the motorcycle on a stand and went to the first store. After a short conversation I noticed that a Sales person started to have strange comments towards me, and since I found them personally rude, I informed the person, that even though I really needed to buy the storage, I was not going to do that due to impoliteness. I left and luckily found another retail shop, where I purchased the desired device. What surprised me was that I ended in a traffic jam which moved really slowly and it took an hour to leave the city.
From Ajaccio, I stayed, for 40 kilometers, close to the coastline and after I changed to backland with an idea to get as close as possible to the highest pick of Corsica, Monte Cinto (2706 meters). The road I took was marked by D70 and it offered authentic Corsican scenery. I crossed a lot of wild and inhabited areas. I passed a stock of wild pigs loudly escaping as I was getting closer, goats that were sitting in the middle of a road not willing to move, cows which were laying along roads observing others under the shade of trees. I saw two Sows with several Juveniles that were making funny sounds running interestingly around me checking if possible my boots or jeans were eatable. Clearly I was an intruder and wild animals were the inhabitants with all their rights.
The roads were well maintained but narrow and, despite that, many car drivers were driving dangerously. Something I had noticed already in Sardinia, but in Corsica I got clearly annoyed by that. People just cut curves treating narrow road as racing lanes. Most of them did not stay on their part of a road. Luckily I never had an issue and because of that I tried to stay closer to the outer part of a road. Part of D70 let through an area that looked like a canyon. The views were outstanding. Craggy walls on both sides and deep at the bottom, a raging river that created a unique rock formation along the edges. I am sure the driving style of many could possibly cause a headache.
Around 2:00 pm, I started to feel hungry. All restaurants, bars, grocery stores were closed. It was just after lunch break and too early for dinner. Somewhere close to Piedigriggio, I found a place which was still open in front of which three shinny Harleys were standing. A quick decision and I stood next to them as well. I weakly had a browse if there was any food and a place where I could sit. I was invited to join a table which I kindly refused to do since there was simply no space for another person. I found it nice anyway. Next to the table I sat, another person, who looked like a biker too was just about to finish his meal. He stared at me for while, but funny enough, I did not feel uncomfortable. He looked like someone, who would like to ask, and talk, but was shy to actually do it. The man looked like he hadn´t seen a shaver for a very long time. Cutting nails was also not the favorite part of his hygienic routine. He was also smoking heavily. Despite that, he had warm look and kind facial features. Everything in the menu was in Corsican and, therefore, I had no clue what I should pick up. I asked the man using international body language, if the food he just ate was good, and if he could recommend it. Exchanging a few smiles helped me to choose the best dish for me. While sitting by the table, a lady arrived and parked her car just in front of my Harley in a way that I could not see the motorcycle anymore. That actually made me stress. The motorcycle was not the problem but the luggage was. I invited the man to my table and, unexpectedly, the invitation was accepted. The situation was a bit bizarre. We were not able to speak so we were exchanging short information using our simplified body language. As I was concerned about my properties, I was constantly checking, if everything was still in place. The man looked at me, and showed me that until he, a Corsican, was sitting with me, nothing would possibly happen to me or to my goods. Aha! So this was the security that the Sardinian policeman was talking about. I had found myself a short term bodyguard. I grinned to myself, to him, cooled down, and in a chilled out atmosphere, consumed my salad with local smoked ham and Corsican goat cheese. I thanked for the company I had, and as I approached my motorcycle, another lady parked a car just behind my bumper. I looked at her, shocked by her ignorance or stupidity. She looked at me and, with no concern, left the car. I did not know what to say. She had to have realized that she was blocking the only exit I had. As I put my jacket on, she came back, but not to move the car but to pick up something from inside the car. I expressed my concern showing her that she was blocking me. The lady just shrugged and, as she wanted to leave I said only one word to her which she understood immediately and started to scream at me. How could I dare to speak to her like that. My bodyguard stood in front of the restaurant, observed the situation for a moment, and requested the woman to move her car. Yeah!
I went back on the road. The road D70 changed in Evisa to D83 and led me, through T20, around a town Francardo. I ended my touring in Bastia, the principal port of the island and its principal commercial town and especially famous for its wines. Bastia possesses three different ports, and "port de commerce" was the one which I left the town from.
My departure was scheduled for 8:00 pm but everyone had to be at the place at 6:30 pm. At the harbor I met three young German bikers, one woman and two men, and each of them, including the woman had their own motorcycle. We had a lovely, cheerful chat. Just behind my Harley, stood a Volkswagen Passat with an Italian driver, with whom I spent a lovely time conducting interesting conversations while waiting for departure. The travel time was estimated to be around ten hours, and having the nightmare of my trip from Sicily to Sardinia still in my mind, I concluded that I need to "reserve" the best possible spot on the ship. As it turned out, it was not necessary. First I found the handsome Italian car driver sitting next to a quite comfortable looking corner and then I noticed that just in that corner there was electric socket, and the spot had a lot of free space to stretch legs and sleep during the following night. I asked, if I could join and sleep next to his spot. He was prepared much better. He had a comfy mattress! I talked about my vacations, and he explained me his hobby. Well, driving a Harley is not unique, when you meet people who have a truly rare passions (at least from my point of view). The Italian was a spear-fisherman who, every year, spent two-three weeks diving, spearfishing, and eating what he hunted during the day. Contrary to the ancient method where fishermen were using sharpened sticks, he was compressed gas pneumatic powered spear guns to strike the fish. As I was told, one could catch 2-3 fish per day during several hours of free-diving session. Interesting? Hmm... For sure challenging.
Due to bad weather conditions on the sea, we were locked at the harbor in Bastia till midnight, but despite 4 hours delay, we approached Livarno on time.