Friday, September 21, 2012

Cap Corse

We rode 83 miles yesterday (Thursday) around Cap Corse - the "finger" of Corsica that sticks out in the sea on the northeastern corner of the island.  We had ridden only 20 miles the day before, as it was a "rest day."  It was rainy that day (Wednesday), which was just as well, because we did some exciting things, like doing our laundry.  We also were able to do a little bit of souvenir shopping in Saint-Florent before heading up to Murato late in the afternoon.

The Church of San Michele of Murato
The view from Murato looking down toward the bay of Saint-Florent
Saint-Florent, as seen from the beach outside our hotel

Our hotel just outside Saint-Florent
The weather was somewhat threatening yesterday morning when we set out toward Bastia, but we were counting on a weather forecast that predicted lots of sunshine.  We rode up to about 1750 feet, then down to sea level again, all in the space of about 20 miles.

On the way, we passed through Patrimonio, a big (little) wine producing region.

Looking back toward Patrimonio and, over the mountains, Saint-Florent
I had located a cycling shop in Bastia which was right on our way out of the city, so we stopped there and purchased a souvenir cycling jersey for my birthday. :)  Then in was on up the road on the eastern side of the Cap.

By the time we exited Bastia, the weather was beautiful, and it would remain so for the rest of the day.  The ride up the peninsula was absolutely stunning as we rode just above the sea level for most of the way.  In the distance, we could see the island of Elba, to which Napoleon was exiled, and at one point in the northern part of the peninsula, we could even see mainland Italy on the distant horizon.

At Macinaggio, we turned inland to cross the peninsula, then stopped for lunch on the other side.  From there, it was down the coast to our point of beginning, along roads that hugged the cliffs above the water.


So, a new mileage record set for me again yesterday.  Today, we head inland.  It will be another long ride, and we will likely not have internet access tonight, so I will likely next be reporting from Corte - the town in the center of the island that we passed through last weekend.  From there, we go to the southeast, then up and over the island to the southwest for a couple of days.  The countdown has begun ...

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