The Climber's Wife

Posts from the “France” Category

GR 20 Part 2

Posted on October 1, 2014

After waving farewell to Dr Wonderland in Bastia, I unsuccessfully attempted to drown my misery in a glass of rather pleasant wine. I proceeded to clump around the town thinking dark thoughts about the evils of employment and resupplying my food stash. I then plopped, tired, grumpy and bereft of friends, onto the train. It was however impossible to maintain a proper spirit of dejectedness on the ride out to Calvi. The scenery was absolutely magnificent – mountains, ravines, pretty farms, aching forests all flashed by. As we swung towards the town the sea glittered out to the right and pine forests darkened to the left. Ahhh! A new adventure. The town of Calvi has a number of claims to fame, not least it’s…

The GR20 Part I

Posted on September 11, 2014

  Corsica floats serenely in the Mediterranean between France and Italy, with the island of Sardinia to its immediate south. Along the centreline of the island rises a chain of mountains, falling away on both sides to fragrant marquis vegetation at lower elevation and thence to the sea. Inhabited since the Mesolithic era, it’s inhabitants have paid dearly for the strategic value of their island, having been invaded, attacked and or colonised by the Carthaginians, ancient Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Lombards, Saracens, the Papacy, the Genovese, Barbary pirates, Pisans, the Spanish, a military Bank, the French and (during WWII) German and Italian axis troops. Nomadic shepherding was the way of life in Corsica until the late Middle Ages when various powers (notably…

Gorges du Tarn

Posted on March 1, 2014

Gorge du Tarn is said to be one of France’s best sport climbing destinations. My dear Climber raced up a few 7a-7c’s and raved about the beautiful lines and amazing rock quality. I shivered in two sets of thermals and two down jackets and couldn’t wait to get away from the bone aching cold and damp of a French November. The only climbing related highlight for me was a crag kitten who, despite being quite boney, wasn’t terribly interested in eating Carrefour brand tuna. That stuff is truly vile. The Gorge itself is very pretty and features a wide and fast running river that, in summer, is home to a significant tourist boat trade – the punters (pun intended) whizz down the river and…