CORSICA GR20 Phase 2: DAYS 6th-7th-8th
GR-20. HIKING DAY 8: Manganu hut, 1.600m - Castel di Vergio, 1.410m
5h45min (4h 45min in movement) 16 km +540m/-730m
We get up calmly, at 6:30 a.m., we pack up the tent and prepare the dehydrated breakfast of muesli with chocolate, and we also accompany it with cookies that we bring, really good!
Manganu hut in the early morning
We began to go down on a much easier path than the previous day, and in a short time we entered a plain where we idyllically walked in a green meadow where there are grazing horses.
Meadows from Manganu hut
Meadows from Manganu hut
We continue like this for about 45 minutes of easy walking until the path climbs a little, passing next to the Bergeries de Vaccaghia (1,620m) where we see that you can also spend the night in tent and they also serve meals and offer local cheeses and cold cuts.
Bergeries de Vaccaghia
The path then begins to climb over loose stone but it is not difficult. The path goes parallel to the Tavignano river, a natural outlet for Lake Nino and one of the most important river courses on the island. We cross several sections of forest, where the path here becomes easy and we continue walking quietly among majestic trees.
Forest at Tavignano river
In a little while we see that the GR has changed, before it continued on the right river bank (left in our sense), but the new GR crosses the river and advances to the right to take a turn (without much sense in our opinion) to pass through the Bergeries des Inzecche, so we crossed the meadow in the middle to avoid making this turn, a priori, without further interest.
Easy goning GR20 new path to Nino Lake
We therefore continue along the left bank (right in our direction) and along the new GR, on a very easy and beautiful path, between meadows and in less than expected we find Lake Nino (more or less at 2h after starting). We take pictures and rest a bit. Here we find many people who are going to spend the day.
We go around the lake and climb towards the Bocca a Reta pass (1,885m). Throughout this section the views are very beautiful, making out the last rocky mountain range that awaits us in the North of Corsica; with the great massifs of Paglia Orba and Monte Cinto, awaiting our passage in the next days … What a thrill!
Last rocky mountain range views from Bocca a Reta
Bocca a Reta
Bocca a Reta
From the hill, the path descends, maintaining for a long time these panoramic views of these majestic mountains. With this good day and walking along these roads, the truth is that we are so happy that not even our knees hurt 🙂
Panoramic views of last rocky mountain range at the North
We enter the forest again, and it is already very hot, so this last section become a bit tedious, although always on an easy path and down or flat.
Bent trees by the wind!
Until the end of the route where we find a last uphill to the left, but it does not take more than 10 minutes, to reach the D84 road, where the hut and hotel of ‘Castel di Vergio’ is located just ahead.
Castell di Verghio
We arrive around 2:00 p.m. and go to the hotel to request accommodation at the hut, on a half-board basis (it is well worth having dinner in the hotel restaurant, with the views of the perfectly triangular mountain of Punta Di Tula (2,143 m), very captivating).
We share a bunk room with other hikers who are doing the GR20 and others just a 2-day walk. The room has capacity for 10 people and has a shower and a sink, without a bathroom, these are located outside, at the end of the rooms.
Castel di Vergio thus has a hostel sharing room with other people, a hotel with double and single rooms and a camping area with for tent or caravan.
There is also a store (small super) where we buy bread, sausage, fruit, … to eat there at the tables outside and we also replenish food for the following days.
We have dinner at 7:00 p.m. in the restaurant, where both the food, the place and the views are 100% recommended. We had a corsican vegetable soup for dinner, a steak with roasted potatoes and vegetables, and cheesecake for dessert. All very good.
Castel di Verghio Hotel restaurant views
Second course at Castel di Verghio restaurant
We grab the breakfast that they have prepared for us for the next day, since we want to leave early. Tomorrow begins the ‘phase 3’ of the GR20, the northern part and a priori the hardest.
Eager to know what will bring us! We are excited! : D