Above and Below the World

GR 20 CORSICA: DAY 3

Summary:

  • Start & Finish points: Corsica highlands | Di Laparo unguarded shelter
  • Distance & duration: 15 km | 8h
  • Profile: +810/-870
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Route type: lineal

GPS track:

wikiloc

Activity type:

Map of the trip:

Profile:

Location:

Solitary stage to enjoy the grandeur of the Corsican mountains. Leaving behind the beautiful Corsican highlands, we will enter rocky profiles where sometimes we will have to help ourselves with our hands to advance. We will enjoy long stretches of ridge to go then back into the forest at the end of the day and sleep in a remote unguarded shelter located on the old route of the ‘mare a mare center’ trail.

PHAse 1: dAYS 1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th

DAY 3 GR-20: Corsica Higlands (tent), 1.500m - Di Laparo unguarded shelter, 1.380m

8h (6h30min in movement) 15 km +810m/-870m

Descripción del viaje:

We got up at 5:45 am with the tent very wet, and we have been a bit cold tonight. Being near the river and with the rain of the previous night, dew has left everything soaked.

Even so, we pick up the tent (luckily we have a floor plastic protector that has protected us from moisture on the ground), and we have a warm breakfast to replenish ourselves, our muesli and coffee with powdered milk, very tasty! In the beautiful Corsincan highlands

We catch water in the stream below and around 7:30 a.m. we start today’s route enjoying a long time on an easy path between pastures and streams surrounded by violet flowers and wonderful centenary trees.

Starting the day in the Corsican highlands

Violet flowers in the Corsica highlands

We reach the junction point with the GR20, we pass another meadow where there is a water point and from here we begin to go up, by easy track but continuous climb through the forest, where we again enjoy these beautiful trees.

We continue climbing (we have been walking for an hour) and little by little we are leaving the forest behind to give way to the rock, we are advancing and without realizing it we are already walking a rocky path. We found a hill that looks like a window made of rock!

Walking to the Scaddatta crest

Spectacular window in the rock starting first crest

We pass the “window” in the rock and a section of crest begins, it is not difficult, but we have to be aware since suddenly the path takes a sharp turn to the right (not very evident, in fact we pull forward but we realize that we were wrong) and just after the turn, you have to go down on your back through a small rock crack with your hands, about 2m vertical fall.

We go down it easily (be careful if it rains, in this section the rock could be slippery and become dangerous), and we continue until we reach the highest point of this ridge, the Punta di Scadatta (1,835m). Once here we go down, up and down several times through large smooth rocks, granite slabs untill we finally we go down to the refuge di Usciolu. The descent is a bit long and also the heat is already very strong.

First section of crest towards di Usciolu hut

Di Usciolu hut

We arrived at the Usciolu hut around 11:30 a.m. with strong heat. We drink water rest and buy cheese and potatoes (they do not have any bread), and continue the march before 12:00h. Now it is a fairly uphill section, but without any dificulty we go up through sections of stone and sections of footpath.

Starting the second section of crest

Second section of crest

Second section of crest

We continue going down for a long time (it takes us approximately 1h30′) until we reach forest terrain again and then up to the Bocca di Laparo pass (we arrive at 2:30 p.m.). In Bocca di Laparo we stopped to eat sitting on some rocks, it is a wide space where there is a viewpoint with a sign explaining the surrounding mountains and where the “Mare a Mare Centre” trail crosses it.

Bocca di Laparo

Bocca di Laparo

Views from Bocca di Laparoto the crest we just went down.

After eating and resting for a while, we leave the GR20 to take precisely the path “Mare a Mare Centre” direction E, to go to the unguarded refuge di Laparo where we want to spend the night. We follow the path through orange marks and at one point we realize that we have passed the junction, we have gone too low. We look at the GPS and it turns out that there is a new route of the Mare Mare and our refuge is in an old section of the Mare Mare. We continue along the old route, finding some sections already very blocked by the vegetation and we wonder if the shelter will still be there or if it will be closed. With all the uncertainty and fatigue we keep looking for it … until we find it.

And what a pleasant surprise! The shelter is open and there are gas tanks to cook, soap, kitchen utensils, a small table and chairs in the first room, and a large wooden plank as a bunk with another table and fireplace in the second room. In addition, there is a fountain just 10m going down fron the shelter, and we have also amazing sea views. How lucky we are!

Going doen from Bocca di Laparo

Unguarded Di Laparo shelter

Fountain with pipe 10 meters from the shelter

We take a shower with water from the fountain, wash our dirty clothes and let them dry while we relax sitting enjoying these privileged views of the Mediterranean Sea, in this Corsican forest 😊 .. we feel really lucky after this day to be able to find such a place, it is just wonderful.

Finally we eat our dehydrated food with the Jetboil and go to sleep!

When we are turning off the lights we hear some noises in our room. We point with the headlamps at the ceiling and we see a Dormouse scampering along the ceiling beams. It’s beautiful. We search Wikipedia for what they eat and seeing that they are insectivores, we reassure ourselves not without leaving the food hanging from a rope that is difficult to access.

Interior of the unguarded Di Laparo shelter

Interior of the unguarded Di Laparo shelter

Our intention tomorrow will be to get up early to see the sunrise, since shelter is oriented towards the E. Let’s see if we got it!

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