Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 54

Thread: GR20 The Rong Way Round- A question for Paddy

  1. #1
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    49
    Paddy I have your guide read back to front and it is a wealth of knowledge. I have booked flights for a trip in September and will be doing the trip S to N..... does your new edition follow the traditional N - S route or otherwise

  2. #2
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267
    Alan - I've walked the GR20 both ways, and if I had to come down on one direction in favour of another, then I'd prefer to walk south-north. So why is the guidebook written north-south? Simply because the vast bulk of through walkers (over 90%) walk in that direction, and from a publisher's point of view, it's a good idea to go with the flow!

    The new edition of the Cicerone guidebook will be available at the end of April, but check direct with Cicerone for exact details. The new edition still follows the traditional north-south direction that most walkers prefer, but I have added a reverse-route summary so that you can see how timings vary on a south-north traverse. The waymarks work just as well in both directions, and it doesn't matter which way you use the maps. Facilities, which are all fully updated, are the same whatever way you walk. But of course you'll have to rethink all the route directions, so that steep and stony ascents become steep and stony descents, etc.

    It's quite good fun to amble down to Calenzana at the finish, watching hordes of walkers struggling uphill on their first day, and just by looking at them, you can probably guess which ones simply aren't going to make it!

  3. #3
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    49
    Thanks for the swift response Paddy. I shall track down a copy of the new edition soonest. Now to get on with the training....

  4. #4
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    21,694
    I took delivery of your new edition GR20 guide on Saturday Paddy - well done, a fine effort.

    My previous Cicerone guide to it was the original from the 80's (Alan Castle if I remember), but yours is much more detailed, not to mention the fact that there have been a few route changes in that time.

    I certainly recall that the impression I had setting off to do it back then was of a siege mentality, i.e. needing to be entirely self-sufficient from start to finish and lugging a pretty heavy pack the whole way. So it's interesting to see that the facilities do exist to do it in different styles from that!

  5. #5
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267
    Matt - do you really have a copy of the 2006 edition in full colour? If so, then I'm a bit envious. I'm expecting delivery of my presentation copies any day, but haven't received them yet!

    Yes - the original Cicerone guide was by Alan Castle, and by the time I was asked to do the new edition, the only copy left in the office was photocopied for me to carry. The route changes in the early stages took the GR20 much higher, through much more difficult terrain. It's a great relief these days to walk without having to carry food for three or four days at a stretch. In the early years, you had to carry 10 days of food, or make detours to resupply!

  6. #6
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    21,694
    Hi Paddy,
    Yes, I've got my grubby little mitts on it! Last Monday the website was still saying that your new version was imminent and that the office had stocks of the previous one. By Tuesday the publication date on the site definitely said April 2006 so I took a chance and ordered it - it turned up Saturday morning. Bedtime reading for the next few days...

    I'm itching to go back - I've done 3 Corsica trips so far. The only problem is in deciding what version to do - full GR20, north or south sections, add in summits, or even head off and do the Tra Mare e Monte or one of the Mare a Mare routes instead? It's a fantastic island!!

  7. #7
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267
    I'm green with envy!

    I wanna see my copy!

    When it's out of date I'll be straight back to walk the route again, along with all its alternatives, and all those extra summits. Takes a good month to walk all of that, by the way, without any days off!

  8. #8
    Widdler
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    8
    Paddy, I have the 2002 edition of the guide. Like Alan, I've booked flights for a S-N Trip in September (btw, when are you planning Alan?). I've heard from some people that more of the refuges carry food supplies and so on at that time of year. Is the new guide up-to-date on that? Also, never been to Corsica before so would appreciate it if anyone can point me at any on-line resources that could help with the planning?

  9. #9
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267
    The main difference between the 2002 edition and the 2006 edition, apart from the use of colour throughout, is in respect of the facilities. All the refuges, except one, now provide meals and a supply of food for purchase. They'll have supplies all the way through September, so you shouldn't have any problems, or indeed, any need to carry anything apart from your lunch each day. You certainly won't need pots and pans or a stove if you take the meals offered.

    If you're walking South to North, however, bear in mind that the first refuge, the Refuge d' I Paliri, is the only one that doesn't offer meals or food supplies. Having said that, many walkers ditch excess food at the refuge rather than lug it down to Conca, so there might be something of a 'lucky dip' available if you don't come with your own supplies.

    You'll probably want some detailed information about how to get to and from the GR20 from whatever airport/ferryport you use. Have a look at the Corsicabus website for details of buses and trains.

  10. #10
    Widdler
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    8
    Thanks for the update and updated guide now purchased! That will help keep the weight down. I assume that I will still need a sleeping bag and thermarest. Do you think it's safe to assume that there will be space in all of the refuges in the first two weeks of September? I had planned to make Bavella on day 1 so the refuge d' I Paliri hopefully will not be an issue. I already have flights booked that will let me get the 16:00 bus Bastia to St Lucie and I understand that I can get a taxi from there to Conca. BTW, for anyone who is interested, the BA flights LGA to Bastia in September are really cheap just now. I booked and was pleased to get a return for 113 all in. I went back a few days later to check prices for my son and a return was down to 79!

  11. #11
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267
    The first two weeks in September will be a sight less crowded than August. My guess is that you'll find more space available as you cover the distance. The longer you're there, the quieter it should be, but more people will hit the hills at weekends.

    Whether you choose to stay in refuges or camp, you'll need a sleeping bag. If you want to take a chance and hope there's room in the refuges every night, then you won't need a therm-a-rest, since they provide foam mattresses on the bunks. If you're going to camp at any point, a therm-a-rest makes all the difference, since the ground is nearly always hard and stony.

    If your flight into Bastia is delayed, it doesn't necessarily mean you miss your bus. There might be time to grab a taxi from the airport to get you to the roadside at Casamozza just in time for the bus!

    When you get to Ste. Lucie, the best thing is to phone the Gite d'Etape La Tonnelle at Conca, tel 04 95 71 46 55, and see if they can give you a lift. Naturally, only do this if you intend staying the night at the gite. The guy running the place speaks English, if your French isn't up to phone call standard.

    Pack enough food for the whole of the first day, then start early while it's still cool, and take your time. It's not a hard stretch, but when I last did it, I found a local fisherman severely dehydrated under the shade of a bush, and felt obliged to offer him water. He drank nearly all of my 2 litre allowance, and if it wasn't for the tiny trickle of a spring near Capeddu, my trip might have been totally scuppered!

    79 is a great price, and you're lucky you can fly from Gatwick. That's an awkward place for me to reach, and flights from my nearest airport are much more costly.

    I have my own copy of the updated guide now, and despite everything I say about keeping the pack weight down, the extra info in the new guide means it's 100g heavier than the previous edition. Sorry!

  12. #12
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    49
    Hi Bill, yes I got flights to Bastia for 79 too ! We fly out 5th Sept, rough plan atm is to take the rest of the day to get to Conca, overnight there and start next morning. Still to book luxury hotel in Calvi for end of walk treat !!!! Fly back 21st and hobble into work next day.

  13. #13
    Widdler
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    8
    Alan, I'm out on 31/8, start much as you - aiming for Conca that eveing and do the first stage to Bavella on 1. Aiming to take the two shorter stages before Vizzavona on one day so that I can have a day off n Vizzavona. Meeting up with others from my club on 6 and do the Northern stages 7/9 - 15/9. Day off in either Calenzana or Calvi then back to Scotland on 17/9. That's the plan - you might overtake us!!!

  14. #14
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    49
    Hey Bill, a fellow Scot in Corsica in Sept !!

    Nae chance of us overtaking you. There's another useful thread on this subject somewhere, again with great contributions from Paddy, I'll have a wee dig about for it

    Right, work beckons ....

  15. #15
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267
    I guess that'll be this thread.

    You'll both enjoy walking south to north, and I'm convinced the scenery looks better that way round, since you're not always squinting into the sun.

    Bill - if you're going to walk all the way from Conca to Bavella in a day, bear in mind it's a long way and it's likely to be quite hot, so stock up on water. If you carry as much water as you can out of Conca, there's also a really refreshing cold spring just after you leave the road, so you can drink loads at that point without having to dip into what you're carrying. There's no camping permitted at Bavella, and as you'll likely be turning up late at one of the gites there, ask the guy at the gite in Conca to phone ahead on your behalf, and slip him a euro or two for making the call.

    Alan - there's no shortage of luxury hotels in Calvi, with price tags to match! I once stayed at the Hotel Cristophe Colomb, up near the Citadel, during a torrential downpour in winter. It was a fairly bare place. I stayed there again last summer in the peak season, surprised to find that they had a room available late at night, and found the place vastly improved, without being extortionate. It was easily the most luxurious place I stayed at in a month on Corsica, immediately before flying home.

  16. #16
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    49
    That's the thread, Paddy, thanks ! Being a canny (mean) Scot I will look into your recommendation of affordable luxury at Hotel Cristophe Colomb. While I'm here, we will be taking the leisurely train ride from Calvi to Bastia the next day and overnighting in Bastia before flying home, you know of a decent hotel in Bastia?

    Got your book on order too Paddy !

  17. #17
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267
    Bastia? 'Fraid not. I've never needed to stay there. When you get off the train in Bastia, simply walk straight along the busy road towards the sea, and halfway along it, you'll find the Tourist Information Centre beside the Place St. Nicholas. They'll be able to point out some likely places no problem.

    If you're carrying a Therm-a-rest - it makes good seat padding for the train ride. It's a splendid scenic journey, but you'll swear it's riding across bare granite instead of being on rails. Take food and water on the train, as it's a long ride, and as it's generally running at a low level, it could be quite hot in the carriages.

    If there's a change of trains at Ponte Leccia, and if you have more than 30 minutes to spare, it's worth strolling into the village.

  18. #18
    Goon
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    408
    In July 2002 we stayed at www.hotel-postavecchia.com on way back - right on Quayside, breakfast by the Med.....

  19. #19
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    57
    If you decide to have a day off in the middle, it is only a few minutes by train or bus from Vizzavona to Corte - original capital of the island, lovely old citadel town, well worth a visit.

  20. #20
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267
    It's easier to get to Corte by train, since you can do that from Vizzavona. If you get the bus, you have to walk up to the main road and hope the driver sees you and stops for you!

    Corte is a real Corsican town, with a Corsican-language university, as well as formerly being the seat of government under Pascal Paoli, when there was an Anglo-Corsican alliance.

    The GR20 is a splendid walk, but it's often far removed from the history of Corsica. A trip to Corte helps redress the balance.

Similar Threads

  1. One for Paddy Dillon?
    By Phil S in forum Gear
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 20-02-2013, 10:28 AM
  2. Paddy's new book
    By LotC in forum Walking and Climbing
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 04-05-2011, 10:04 PM
  3. paddy dillion
    By Ernie Simmons in forum Soapbox
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 29-11-2008, 11:45 PM
  4. A big thank you to Paddy Dillon
    By dicky bird in forum Walking and Climbing
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 19-05-2007, 01:55 PM
  5. GR20 - money matters for Paddy
    By Emily Hannon in forum Walking and Climbing
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-04-2007, 11:22 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •