We slept in and made our way to the train station a kilometer downhill where we could take a train to Corte, a large town where locals actually live. We figured we would be able to get to a proper grocery store and stay there until we felt better … trying to travel while we are both sick is very challenging.
We spent two nights in Corte, dragging ourselves around town to get food, find lodging and get medicine so as to start feeling better. Corte was a big town, but also had an old part of town on a hill with a fortress. After two nights in Corte, we made a plan to try to head back to the trail in search of less expensive lodging options (camping).
Day 11: 10miles
We took the train back to Vizavona, roughly where we left the trail a few days earlier. We had a gentle 10 mile hike climbing up through beech and pine forests to reach the camping spot we planned on stopping at. Our plan was to hike for three days, and make it to another road and try to take a series of buses out to the airport from there. The trail was surprisingly busy, and we passed several people headed in either direction. The fall foliage was beautiful.
We made it to camp in good time and set up our tent and started eating dinner. We were carrying some orange juice (for the vitamin C), and John had just taken a sip when I noticed that he had a drop of orange liquid on the end of his nose.
“You have orange juice coming out of your nose!” I told John, and he wiped it off.
Moments later his nose was dripping again, and we realized that in fact it was not orange juice, John’s nose was simply running an unmistakably bright orange liquid. It was immediately obvious that John probably had a sinus infection.
We immediately started to rethink our plans – deciding to retrace our steps tomorrow to get back to the train station to get to a town to find a doctor rather than continuing on. Unfortunately tomorrow is Sunday, so seeing a doctor will have to wait until Monday.
John also soon realized that I had inadvertently left his fleece jacket in the last hotel room we stayed in, in Corte, because I was using it under my pillow to make my pillow bigger. Today is just not our day!! Except… it actually kind of is our day because today is our 6 year wedding anniversary. Oh well, this is what marriage is all about right?
Days 12-14: 10 miles
We tried to sleep in and then walked back the way we came. Which despite the circumstances was great because we enjoyed the views we had missed the day before while walking through the clouds.
We were able to camp in Vizavario for 7 euros each rather than pay for another expensive hotel in Corte. The next day we took the train back into Corte and managed to find Johns fleece at the hotel we stayed in several nights earlier before searching for a doctor. We wound up being sent to the local hospital where we had to wait a couple hours to see a doctor. We were both prescribed antibiotics along with a few other medicines and were surprised when the bill to see the doctor was only 25 euros per person. God I wish we had such affordable heath care in the USA!!! We immediately started taking our medicines and then started hitchhiking towards the airport. Public transport barely works in Corsica. The train works great but busses are somewhat of a nightmare. Surprisingly, we have only had one experience where hitchhiking didn’t work well for us (when we had to wait 4-5 hours), so if you know any French, this is probably the way to go… just expect it to take a while!
As we walked to the airport, there were amazing cork trees on the side of the road!
We made our flight and were slightly relieved to finally be leaving Corsica despite not having finished the GR20.
We get to stay with trail friends in Germany next where we can eat home cooked food and enjoy not carrying our backpacks for a few days!! I’ll write up some final thoughts on the GR20 soon!