We were up at the crack of dawn…….actually it was well before dawn and crept as quietly as we could out of the motorhome park, which is virtually impossible in a ruddy great diesel motorhome and travelled the short 30 minute drive down to meet our pretty large ferry in Toulon, bound for Corsica, the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte or as my Granny called him….Old Bloody bones and hairy eyes. Don’t ask me why 🤗 Had we have made this crossing a couple of hundred years ago we’d have been becalmed as the sea was glass flat with not a breath of wind. Thankfully a couple of thumping great diesels powered us over in just over 5 hours. So here we are on the French Island of Corsica. Surveying the coastline from the safety of the ferry whilst drinking a very cold Heineken had me shaking in anticipation. There didn’t look like a flat piece of land anywhere……..Pinot was going to get a serious workout!We rolled off around 1.00pm and drove a couple of hundred k’s from the Port straight down to Bonifacio…..200 plus k’s and it took almost 4 hours. We pulled into one of the last remaining sites open as they are all closed or closing for Winter. How good for us……what a site, 5 star pool with restaurant and bar and almost no one to appreciate it but us under a cloudless sky with temps around 24 degrees. Happy days and happy campers. We spent the 2 days quietly with a little walking and a bike ride down to a deserted beach with barely a sign that this place is heaving in Summer 😁 Amanda is like a pig in pooh as she settles quickly into the gentle pace of Island life.We picked the location because we had our good Pals Jeff and Alana from Australia arriving via Sardinia and we had prebooked a hotel for3 nights in Bonifacio with them and it allowed us the opportunity to get some drinking practice in before the rest of our party arrived a few days later. The little town of Bonafacio is an absolute cracker of a place and although the season is grinding to a halt, the vibe and pace around here is fantastic, without the hoardes of tourists. Virtually all the restaurants are open as are the shops etc. I’d booked a hotel online some months previously which sat atop the headland with views down to the Town Centre and harbour with no plan on where we would park Pinot for the duration and to our very welcome surprise they had a car park tucked away behind the hotel which they kindly allowed us to use whilst staying in the Hotel. We quickly checked in , did a quick reccy of the lovely hotel and made our way down a gizillion steps to meet the Pages, which we’d been looking forward to for some time……after a bit of hugging and kissing, Jeff and I then let the girls greet one another, well it’s been 10 months since we left Brisbane after all. J and A checked into their Hotel and their initial judgement of the lobby had them a little concerned they’d got a dud…….until they opened the door to their penthouse suite…Good God it was massive in all the right ways. Beautifully furnished and fitted with fabulous view across the Marina and Citadel. Pre dinner drinks it was determined would be from their joint.We spent the next three days and nights catching up on news from home and just enjoying each other’s company………..oh and eating and drinking excessively (so what’s new)?
Jeff drove us over one day to Ajaccio (birthplace of old mate “bloody bones and hairy eyes” his home is of course a museum now. If you are planning on making this journey make sure you are not subject to car sickness. I was very glad to see Bonifacio again as the 110 K was nothing but ups and downs and hairpins. Well done Jeff!
In between eating and drinking we did do a little sightseeing around this rugged Island including a little climb down the 200 steps from the Old Town to the ocean. Now given that all 4 of us are vertically challenged and the steps are seriously deep between each tread, the old knees were starting to crack a bit. If you zoom in on the above picture you’ll understand what I mean. The sea around here is a myriad of blues and greens which are pretty special and J and A were sorely tempted to have a dive as it was such good visibility………but alas that would probably mean no alcohol beforehand……….diving nil ………open another bottle guys 🤣Day trip to Ajaccio ..Whistle stop for coffee in Porto Vecchio wish we had had longer to explore.Our time inBonifaccio went so quickly and after 3 short and seriously enjoyable nights we pulled the pin, extricated Pinot from her little holiday Hotel it was time to head back North from where we landed to CalviJ and A followed behind in their rental and a couple of hours into the trip, we pulled over and invited them in for coffee and nibbles……..oh and a wee….just some of the benefits of a house on wheels.
The next leg of our Corsican adventure was to spend a week in a Villa we had rented in Calvi to celebrate a special birthday for a special Lady from Brisvegas. We were met by the letting agent who had agreed to escort us to our villa as it was “quite difficult to get to” understatement of the bloody week! What a job to get Pinot up the lane way. The poor old girl barely made it between cactus plants, low walls, olive trees and barbed wire. The drive was worth it once we’d parked her safely under the villa. A lovely 4 bedroom home with a cracking pool, gym and all the mod cons just begging for a party. Well it would be rude not too wouldn’t it?our room and view below … don’t worry Pinot we still love you ….late Saturday our four other very good friends from Brisbane arrived and we sat around reminiscing about old times and caught up on their news. In a previous blog we mentioned the The important shopping trip for alcohol and after driving about a 1,000 k’s and a five hour ferry trip with said booze in boot it was a relief to get it stored with no breakages for the festivities to commence.we deposited the booze into the fridge and cupboards ready for some critical tastings……all was very palatable. We were just waiting on Caroline (the birthday girl) and husband Bruce, Lyndy and Stew. Let the good times begin👏 We boys are very fortunate to have married some seriously good cooks and between them (under chef Lyndy) they turned out some seriously fine tucker. Even the table was dressed each evening.Our days were spent mooching around Calvi and surrounding villages, trying to avoid visiting OLD churches etc (Stew has a serious aversion to them). Beautiful lunch for the birthday girl at la Signoria….wonderful afternoon 😊Bruce took a quick pic of Amanda taking a selfie with her trusty selfie stick. On occasion she looked like a tour leader wandering the streets ahead of us with the damned this waving around above her head…….bless 🤣Between us we decided an afternoon out on a boat might be a good idea. The purpose was to see some nice cliffs and channels etc. anyway the sea was nice and calm and the sun shone brightly with barely a cloud in sight. 90 minutes to get there on a very full boat 30 minutes taking snaps and enjoying the view followed by minutes back. If you are in the area with nothing else to do, just buy an ice cream and sit and watch the boats leave……..from the jetty 😆we guessed this might be Corsican wild boar sausage………we hope. Again the girls bought seriously good grub…….the pate, cheeses and meats before the main event were gorgeous. God We are gonna need some serious discipline over the next week or two……less carbs and even less booze. By day 4 a quick inventory check in the wine department looked like we were on track with what we’d brought from mainland France. Rationing it with our gang wasn’t going to be an option 🤔we realised quite early on that Caroline had the best grip on the French lingo so the remaining 7 sat in silence and left Caroline to do her stuff. I had the odd go and on one Occassion told a young waiter “I love you” I’d only had 2 glasses of wine He politely thanked me and poured us all another glass……….and didn’t give me his mobile number.On our last day I started early onset MANFLU…..again, that’s just 2 weeks after a recovery from the previous 1 of 3 bouts. So this time Amanda sent me to the hospital. Long story short they took my bloods, did a chest X-ray and stuck a cannula into my hand with a bag of something. Diagnosed me with Broncial Pneumonia and prescribed some heavy duty antibiotics and lots of rest…….should have listened to Amanda earlier 😳. All that and NO CHARGE ……wow what great service !the purpose of all meeting in Corsica was to help celebrate Caroline’s birthday and spend a very special week together. The girls have been doing something special on landmark birthdays for the past 20 or so years and have spent a week together in places like France, Italy, Tasmania and so on and like previous getaways, this one was another fantastic trip. We ate too much, drank too much, laughed till it hurt and we even shed a few tears together. As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the only thing we miss on this adventure are family and friends and this little interlude with our Brissie besties has been simply manifique. As A & J quoted ” our happy place is with our besties.”At 9.30 pm on on last evening together we opened the final remaining bottle, so I didn’t need to invoke our buy back option ..
Love to all x