Firstly let me apologise for the erratic posting of the past few weeks. With me being ill neither of us seemed to have spare time. Once Delia’s mum arrived other priorities also intervened and, once her Aunty Barb had arrived we left for our Corsican holiday.

At that time I was still needing the numbing patches and painkillers for the shingles. The road to Bordeaux was mostly smooth so I was relatively comfortable in the car. The transfer to the airport and the flight went uneventfully too. Volotea is a Spanish budget airline – like ryanair our seat choices seemed to separate us intentionally though legroom was better and I did have a window seat and a good view of the footpaths and precipitous roads on our approach to Bastia flying over the Corsican mountains.

We got into our house rental quite late and our first encounter with the hazardous driveway entry to our parking. Our hire car had something called Active city braking that meant poor Delia found it difficult to rev the engine high enough to get up the 40° slope and the small final step. To her credit, by the time the holiday was over she was whizzing up the slope like a Corsican taxi driver!

A lift from the owner into town and a recommended restaurant venue gave us a leisurely introduction to the city traffic. The marina-side restaurant, like many in Bastia served a wonderful seafood menu (spider crab risotto for me).

A taxi from the main city square was an easy ride home (later in the week we were to find that this taxi rank wasn’t always as useful a spot to find a cab). That night, up in the hills above Bastia, though the windows of our vast first floor bedroom we gazed as the moon rose over the sea and gave us a wonderful view of Bastia and its ferry harbour below. This same view at dawn afforded a beautiful if drowsy view of sunrise later that week. We explored the hills in which our house was situated later in the week by car and on foot. On foot was less successful as paths were not where the map claimed and my shingles meant I flagged somewhat. We weren’t able to fully enjoy the rugged mountain trails with two septagenarians and me recovering.

The tour of the Cap de Corse was our main encounter with the precipitous roads we had observed on our flight in. Delia drove bravely around the hairy roads and her mum scarcely gasped at all at the sheer drops beside her.

Sea food predominated (except Delia who hates all things marine, but nevertheless had not shortage of delicious meals). I especially enjoyed, in another harbourside restaurant, a pair of dorade fillets with cockles and mussels accompaniment. We did try a “Corsican” pizza with figarolle (a particularly Corsican sausage hailed by the Hairy Bikers in a show we caught before leaving for Corsica). Delia and I were disappointed as it was mostly made from boar’s blood with some boar meat, a bit strongly flavoured for us. However, the main enjoyment of the holiday, for me at least, was definitely the lovely food, especially the gourmet restaurant for our last meal on the day we departed.

Back in Haute Vienne now things seem a lot quieter. Corsica was surprisingly touristy – I had expected the placidity of Crete but, instead, everywhere bustled and, as tourists, we were well-catered for, though I would have preferred more authentic Corsica I think.

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