CORSICA GR20 Phase 1: DAYS 1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th
GR-20. HIKING DAY 4: Refuge di Laparo (free shelter), 1.380m - Casas de Capanelle, U Fugone, 1.590m
11.30h (9h in movement) 24,4 km +1.490m/-1.290m
After spending the night well sharing a room with the little dormouse in the refuge, we got up at 5:40 a.m., to have time to see the sunrise.
We prepare breakfast and backpacks and while the coffee is heating up, we position ourselves outside in front of the refuge, to see the sunrise (at 6:20 am). It was truly a magical moment that we will certainly remember on this GR20; see the sun rise with these rijdish and yellowish colors above the sea in this idyllic forest and completely alone, just a few meters from the entrance of the refuge. Just unforgettable.
Sunrise at Refugi di Laparao (free shelter)
When this magnificent moment finished, we return to the refuge, have breakfast, clean the place and around 7:00 a.m. we start the day, with full of energy!
We take the blurred path that goes up from the refuge, straight up towards the new path of ‘Mare a Mare’, (the path that we tried to go the day before, but as it is already in disuse and full of weeds, we gave up taking another direction) and, in 25 minutes we arrive at the Bocca di Laparo junction.
Camino ‘Mare a Mare centro’ (orange marks)
Once here, we take again the GR20, where the path progresses easily through the forest for a while until we start going up and little by little the forest path gives way to start a more alpine terrain with stones and blocks.
Giving away the forest
Moving towards the ridge with panoramic views of the sea and mountains
We continue, flanking the Punta di Latuncellu (1,720m) and the progress gets very slowly between large blocks of stone. Be careful, as there is a section of about 20 meters, where there are some large and irregular blocks that make it difficult to advance, and in a rainy day, it could be dangerous. After this point, the path is no longer so difficult. We pass two hills of stone terrain but just after the second, it returns for a while a short difficult stretch of rock until the path reaches the Punta Cappella pass (2,040m). Until here it has taken us about 2h of cresting.
Mountain ridge path
Mountain ridge path
Mountain ridge path
In a little while we see the Prati refuge below. We go down quietly to the plateau and to the Refuge (we arrive at approximately at 11:15 am). This refuge has a wide area with good views of the sea. As it is oriented E, we believe that from here it is very possible that the sunrise can be seen very well.
Going down to the refuge di Patri
Di Patri Refuge
Panoramic views from di Patri Refuge
Descansamos, bebemos agua, hacemos fotos y reemprendemos la marcha, son casi las 12:00h del mediodía y ¡hace mucho mucho calor!
Después de una subida corta de unos 10 minutos llega un paseo por una zona amplia de prados muy bonita, y llegamos así al collado de Bocca d’Oru (1.840), lugar donde empieza una bajada bastante empinada, pero de fácil fajar que nos llevará hacia Col di Verdi.
We take a rest, drink water, take pictures and start walking again, it is almost 12:00 noon and it is very, very hot!
After a short climb of about 10 minutes, it comes a peaceful walk through a wide area of very beautiful meadows, and thus we arrive at the Bocca d’Oru pass (1.840 m), where a fairly steep descent begins, but easily going down, it will take us towards Col di Verdi.
Views from Bocca d’Oru, starting point of the descent to ‘Col de Verde’ (‘Green Pass)
The descent is long, first without any shade and with this heat it becomes a bit heavy, but suddenly we enter into a beautiful forest area, very green (hence the name ‘Coll di Verdi’ ‘Green Pass’) and the progess in its shadow makes it very pleasant.
Beautiful forest in the vicinity of Col de Verde
Beautiful forest path in the vicinity of Col de Verde
After 1h30min of descent, we finally arrive at Col di Verde (1,290m) where there is a hostel, a campsite and a restaurant. As it is 12:30 pm, and we feel like a break, we stop to eat here. We ordered the dish of the day, an entrecote with potatoes and fresh salad! They make them grilled right there. This break is worth enjoying along with a cool drink 😊
Col di Verde
Dish of the day at Col de Verde
Before 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon we set off again, first up in a easy track, but with so much heat and full stomachs it becomes somewhat heavy, but luckily, shortly the road deviates to enter into a beautiful dense forest, full of streams.
We crossed a wooden footbridge, the Marmanu footbridge. After this point, the path go up in a zigzag until it reaches a small esplanade where there is the crossroads to take if you want to climb Mount Renoso (2,352m). We reject this option and continue along the GR20, a path that goes by forest and arrives much faster to Casas de Capanelle, our destination for today.
Start of the second part of the day, by forest track
So we continue along the GR20 in a forest path and at a certain point the path changes side of the valley, where the vegetation recovers from a fire, therefore we feel the warm temperature again. Ugh, how hot! But luckily, we soon entered another stretch of forest with streams that cool the environment a lot.
How beautiful is to walk through the forests of this area, they are green, with abundant water and with these streams between stones that seem to jump between valley and valley. 3 hours have passed since we left Col de Verde and as we are already quite tired, we stopped for a little rest next to one of these streams.
Pool in one of the streams, where we take the opportunity to rest
Finally, the forest path descends gently until we reach the road that goes up to Casas de Capanell. However, we will only walk along it for about 20 meters, since the GR20 path starts again on the left, leaving the road behind.
Here we start a slow and painful climb that will take us about 45 minutes to cover just 1.5km! Due to accumulated fatigue our legs cannot go faster. The landscape is beautiful though, even it is hard for us to admire it…
Last climb to Casas de Capanelle… the face says it all!
Nice landscape going up towards Casas de Capanelle
Finally, we arrive at U Fugone Hostel, in Casas de Capanelle (1,590m) at 6:30 p.m., a place that we see a bit degraded due to the installation of mechanical lifts that constitute the small ski resort.
Casas de Capanelle
Quick shower (in showers where almost no water came out) and at 7:00 p.m. we are having dinner. We must say that we did not like the dinner very much: not very good food nor in too much quantity; Tasteless vegetable soup, beef stew with grits, and a slice of industrial cake for dessert. But hey, at least they put us in a 2 bunk room, just the two of us.
Very long day today, but here we are, we have done it and proud of it!