With a camper in Europe a whole year - part 3
Tone and Finn Bjurvoll Hansen will spend the next year in a motorhome. The trip goes all over Europe, and in each issue of the Motorhome and Caravan Magazine they will tell about their experiences.
About Cap Corse
One of the things we wanted to see was across the island, so after some relaxing days at La Pietra we chose to drive back to Bastia. We had to supply a little, fill gas and diesel. When this was done we headed west over Cap Corse. After studying the book from France Passion, we had chosen one of the only vineyards that offer accommodation for motorhomes. The trip across Cap Corse is spectacular, there are winding narrow roads, but many meeting rooms and picnic areas where you can stop to enjoy the view.
The drive over was absolutely fantastic, and eventually we arrived at the vineyard which looked very idyllic in the book of France Passion. The disappointment was great when in reality this was a kind of modern industrial building with parking in the backyard, it wasn't quite what we had seen for us. After some consultation we agreed to drive on. Up with the app from CamperContact, and we aimed at a small town Northwest as Ogliastro. There was a motorhome parking which was idyllic by the sea, albeit without facilities such as electricity etc. but we manage perfectly without it.
You world for a drive. The roads northwest of Corsica are narrow and winding, and along the way we wondered if we had made a mistake. Narrow roads with vertical slopes tighten the concentration. The scenery and landscape are so beautiful that you almost lose your breath. The road became narrower and narrower, but suddenly we were in Ogliastro, a small sleepy town quite far north on the west coast of Corsica. Again, there are fine margins when it comes to the size of the car, but we were now parked down on the motorhome parking. There were no marked places, but warm nice openings inside the trees. We were quite alone here too, just one camper when we arrived and this one traveled during the day.
One of the things we really appreciate is exploring these small towns. Ogliastro was also a typical "summer town". Hotels and restaurants were closed for the season, except one. The restaurant that actually had the Michelin recommendation was located right down by the car park, and in the evening we strolled up and had a wonderful dinner. We were all alone, so the service was top notch.
Back to the east coast
After the nice stay we had in Ogliastro we decided to go back to the east coast again. There are stretches south on the west coast that are not accessible by our car, and therefore we chose a solution where we drive south along the east coast and then round the southernmost point and drive as far as we came north on the west coast again. The trip left again over Cap Corse, but this time we chose a slightly different route so that we entered the main road south a little south of Bastia. Along the way, we also ended up in the middle of Rally Corsica, rally cars passing us at breakneck speed, and it is strange that this at all goes well on these narrow winding roads.
One of the campsites we had decided to visit was the naturist camp Riva Bella. None of us are naturists, but it was on the list of things we wanted to try. Riva Bella surprised big with regard to location and quality. Great beaches, great motorhome parking, restaurant, shop, spa and sauna. Here, there were mostly things to enjoy some good days.
We arrived at Riva Bella in glorious sunshine, and the place proved its best. We had parked the car five meters from the water's edge and it was all perfect.
Forces of nature
Then came the storm! During the night it blew up to a heavy storm. The waves hit the edge, and we had to move the car to make us feel safe. The heavy weather persisted for two days, and there was no point in driving on. There were floods in the streets of Bastia, many trees had blown over the roads, and we chose to stay on the safe, warm place we had at Riva Bella. On the fourth day the sun and the heat came back, and we could finally get a little naturist life tested.
South of Corsica
The next destination we had chosen was Porto Vecchio. This town is really just an ordinary port city, which is mainly known for its beautiful beaches. Here we had chosen a town near camping, but this one was unfortunately closed. Again we had to come up with the app to find alternatives. We drove on to the next camping, but this one was also closed for the season. It turned out that this was a challenge, both in the apps and on the web pages we use to find motorhome parking and campsites stated that the spaces were open all year, but when we arrived it was closed, and with signs that said welcome back in April.
The alternative was to freeze on a large car park in the city, but the place was occupied by a funfair. Other parking spaces that could have been relevant had these low booms that prevent you from entering the square by car over 220 cm. Eventually we gave up Porto Vecchio and continued to Bonifacio a little further south.
Again the problem of closed motorhome parking and campsites appeared, even though they are open all year round on the web and in the apps, so they are closed for the season. We drove into the center to try to find a parking space we could stand for one night. Right down by the harbor we found what we were looking for, a large and spacious car park with no marked fields, and where it was also free to park. The downturn came when we saw the large "motorhome forbidden" sign between 23: 00 and 08: 00. Anyway, we thought we could spend the afternoon in Bonifacio, and possibly find a place we could unleash outside the city a little later. Tone came up with a suggestion to stop by the tourist office to hear if there were any options for accommodation with a motorhome near the town. Here we were confirmed that most things were closed, but that it was perfectly ok to stay overnight in the parking lot since it was out of season.
And we were happy, Bonifacio was an incredibly fascinating place. Part of the city is on a cliff, and the buildings are somehow hanging over the cliff edge. Bonifacio is also known for Aragon's Stairs. Legend has it that soldiers cut out all the 187 steps in one night. Of course, we had to test this attraction where you go down these 187 steps down to the sea, and then walk on a narrow shelf in the cliff wall. An incredibly exciting experience. What may be easy to forget is to climb all the steep and high steps again. The Bonifacio bar also felt that the season was over and a lot was closed.
25 Aragon's Stairs
The vineyard Pero Longo
In search of places to stay the next choice fell on the Pero Longo vineyard, a short hour drive north from Bonifacio. Here, both CamperContact and the webpage could tell about an idyllic vineyard with its own motorhome parking. There was also a restaurant and wine outlets, and here it was actually open, and we found ourselves a nice place on this cozy farm. There were dogs, cats, chickens and donkeys in lovely association. It was good to be able to relax after the city walk and the overnight stay we had in Bonifacio. We also had to test the wine that was produced on the farm, and it was not something to say either. As the evening sun set behind the mountains surrounding Pero Longo, we were again fascinated by how beautiful and varied the scenery of Corsica is.
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