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Report 2028: Two Travellers on Corsica

By Doug Phillips from Canada, Spring 2012

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Page 7 of 14: Along the West Coast - Sunday October 7

photo by Doug Phillips

Sartene, vieille ville

We checked out of our hotel in Bonifacio and were on our way up the west coast of Corsica by 10:00am under a heavy overcast sky and lower temperatures. The west side of Corsica is wild - lots of rock formations with a sprinkling of vegetation and not much in the way of population until the town of Sartene.

We had been very impressed by the few Corsican wines we had tried since our arrival. Our favourite, and on any list of top producers on the island, was a white from Domaine Saparale in the Sartenais (the area around Sartene). And since we prefer to visit the property rather than just buy a wine in a store, we took a decidedly secondary road inland from Sartene on arrival. However, we should have read the description of the location more carefully - "buried deep in one of the wildest corners of the Sartenais." For one of the few times on our travels in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, we turned back before reaching our destination. The road was just too rugged and the journey too long.

As an acceptable compromise in this situation, we bought a couple of bottles of Domaine Saparale wine at "La Cave Sartenais", offering "Prudutti Corsi" (note the Corsican spelling), adjacent to Piazza Porta,the main square, and on the way into the vieille ville. We paused for a few hours in Sartene, enjoying a drink at a café on the square, touring the old part of the town and doing some window shopping in the main part. Liz saw a few things she was considering in one shop, but when she returned to buy them, it was after 1pm – closing time on Sunday. We had also planned to buy some food supplies for the next few days at the apartment as we were leaving Sartene, but the food store was closed, too. However, I did manage to buy a beach towel in anticipation of our time in Cargese.

We arrived in Cargese around 3:30pm and found our way to our lovely studio apartment a few minutes walk from Pero beach on the small Gulf de Pero, next to the much larger Golfe de Sagone. It feels great to unpack our bags, if only for five days. We usually book for one or two week stays - the Slow Travel way - but this year we were mainly in hotels.

Our dinner options were very limited. With no food in the apartment we had to go out. Fortunately, there was a hotel /restaurant (Ta Kladia) very close by. The restaurant closed for the season on the Wednesday after our arrival, but it was still open that Sunday evening - so that was where we went. Nice setting outside, close to the water. Some items on the menu were not available. We relied on our server's suggestions for some adaptations. The food was OK but l'addition came as a bit of shock. We don't plan a return visit.

Next: Lunch in a movie set

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