GR20 – Day 17 Ortu Di Piobbu to Calenza
Woke up to a morning that was already too warm. I dressed in my hiking clothes but I did not put my jacket. Normally it would keep me warm before we started to walk. There was no need for it today. It was 5:30 a.m. Surprisingly few people were out of their tent and moving.
We packed, ate quick breakfast of Corsica cookies and jam, took several photographs, and left. It was our last day on the trail. The guidebook described it as long downhill with some scrambling.
The section of “some” scrambling surprised us all. There was quite a lot of it. Even some chains which were not mentioned at all. Well, perhaps they were installed after the last version of Cicerone guide was printed. Or the author had a case of leaky memory. Either way the scrambling was longer and much more involved than we prepared for and my legs tired already did not want to go fast.
It was a welcome change to arrive Bocca a u Saltu, our last Bocca on the trail. From there the trail zig zagged down a steep hill. The scrambling was now over. All we had to do for the remaining 3.75 miles was to put one foot in front of the other and enjoy the scenery.
Bellow us we could see the valley spreading all the way to the Mediterranean. In the distance we recognized a coastal town of Calvi thanks to its airport strip.
Calenzana came to a view little bit later. It was still long ways below us, and as we walk down the hill among charred trees and shrubs, the sweat kept dripping from every pore on our bodies. It was hot. Unseasonably hot. There were people still going up. We had no envy for them.
After arriving to Calenzana we reconnected with friends at GR20 restaurant for the last celebratory drink. We were all exhausted, happy, proud of our accomplishments, and a little sad because just like at the end of every trail, the adventure was over and our path would part.
Expect decent amount of scrambling
Some guidebooks say the ascent for this stage is only 50 meters. Some claim 200 meters (672 feet) and more. The latter is much more accurate.
Bring plenty of water. The last descent is long and without shade. There was one spring lower in the hillside if you run out.
Restaurant GR20 in Calenzana has really