We visited Ile Rousse, its port and its beaches and headed on the road to Calvi.
Calvi is very nice. It has a port and right above, on the tip of the hill was built the Citadel, its cathedrale and the oldest part of the city.
From Calvi, to Porto, the road gets challenging. Its going from valley to mountain top and down into another valley a few times. There was parking spot on the side of the road anywhere there was a view that worth stopping to capture it.
We arrived in Porto/Ota at our AirBnB. It’s a small studio, but fully equipped with a view on the mountains.
Today is Tina’s birthday, she doesn’t feel confident renting road bicycle to discover the region around Ile Rousse A bike she doesn’t know about to climb hills she expects to be very very big. Oh yeah; she kept using the birthday reason to change the planning.
Our rental Trek aluminium bike were innexpensive but they were not new and had basic components. Still, I managed to motivate Tina to follow the plan 🙂
Ok the first climb was early and pretty long. However once in Monticello, the road remained relatively at the same altitude while going around mountains and ridges and through pictoresque villages towards south. We biked up to San Antonino, the highest village in the region of Balagne. The city is litterally sitting on the tip of the mountain. Once there, the paved road changed into old rock road. So we walked the last part with the bike on the shoulder. We ended having a lunch in a nice restaurant offering a 360 degree view from the highest building top of the city. People in the restaurant were looking at us and our cycling outfit with a strange look. 🙂
Tina was convinced she made the right decision to discover the region on bike. We went down the stairs and sliperry walkways to the road on our “plastic” bike shoes…
Back on our bike, we only had half way done, the ride is still following the side of the mountain range but now toward north and quickly back west, to do a loop. (counterclockwise)
I sometimes let Tina go in front, so I can stop and take a few pictures. However, it was me who got the GPS. Once, she followed the freshly paved road and went off route (It wasn’t the path I was suggested). I caught her up 2km later. We went back to the GPS trail; that section was badly paved and mostly uphill. I told Tina that we have not been disappointed by the suggested path until now, there must something to see up there, so let’s continue.
Indeed, it leads to another nice village on the side of a cliff with a super nice view. It was then followed by a steep downhill. The breaks are not great, my fingers hurt holding these breaks constantly.
One more up hill after the valley and we are back to Monticello. All is left is to go down the initial hill back to Ile Rousse and return both bicycle.