5 weeks of parental leave together. But what to do with a 9 month old baby that we can all three enjoy? Daddy likes hiking and mountain biking, mummy also climbing and Paula would love to play at the beach enjoying the sand and water. So we are looking for a spot with great hiking, climbing, beach, nature, good food, interesting culture and definately stable and sunny weather but not tooo hot. Sounds like a lot to ask. Our solution: after 1 week climbing with friends south of Lyon we added another 2 weeks of family holiday on the island of beauty – Corse.
After a first couple of days being flat out because we thought we could just keep our old pre-baby shedule we found a good rythm for the three of us. One day full of outdoor adventure, one day rest day with beach, sand and playtime for Paula and relax time for us. Hikes have to be reduces to 4-5 hours walking max. – but in the hot summer sun that is more than enough anyway leaving us enought time to enjoy the great picturesque surroundings!
First week we stayed in Port Vecchio enjoying the beautiful beaches of Palombaggia, Santa Giulia and the little ones inbetween. A half-day trip to Bonaficio with its chalk cliffs and beautiful turquise waters was highly enjoyable. We also loved the great days hiking at Alta Rocca and the absolutely beautiful L’Ospedale forrest with one of the best waterfalls we saw so far (not big but very sweet in a perfect surrounding). The Bavella pass with its alpine feeling was unfortunately tooo windy – I almost got blown off by just leaving the car. Definately no hiking with Paula here that day. But the great drive down the east side passing great water pools al along the way made up for it. As a truck broke Mathias mountain bike trying to reverse into the parking but hitting our bike carrier all biking adventures had to be postponed to the next time. 🙁
The second week on Corse we moved upwards to Ghisonaccia as a base to explore the middle section of the island including the famous Restonica Valley where we did a fantastic but very hot hike up to the Lac de Melo. Paula enjoyed some play-time in the glacier lake while we tried to cool down coming to the conclusion skipping any midday walks from now on – the sun is burning and with a Paula backpack of 14 kilos including her, her drinks and food, absolutely killing up the steep rocky walk (trying to get arround the climbing bits). Unfortunately we could not continue to the next lake up as the via ferratta is not recommendable with a baby on the back. But the Lac de Melo is beautiful and Paula enjoyed her first glacier lake bath.
The next hike two days later was a 5 hours hike into the “hikers only” Tavignano Valley. A beautiful long path along the Tavignano river which gets wilder with every kilometer you walk. At the end some nice river pools are awaiting us for some refreshment. Somehow this was the first time Paula decided that she can’t sleep in her baby rucksack and did scream quite a bit which made us even walk faster hoping she would fall asleep. Unlucky us the last kilometer to the car we had to carry her as one of the screws of the rucksack came off and we couldn’t fix it leaving Paula hanging a bit tooo loose. With baby there are always these extra adventures you get. 😉
To sum up the two weeks we got to spend on Corse: Beatiful wild nature, perfect beaches and lagoons, great almost alpine hiking and next time we will have to check out some of the climbs and bike routes.