Along the D 18 to Ponte Leccia - On Corse - CycleBlaze

Along the D 18 to Ponte Leccia

Sunshine again. 

We have a coffee and then cruise down the gorgeous gorge. 

A few goats go skittling across the tarmac as we descend slowly. 

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The famous walled town of Corte looms up in the distance, perched high on the lip of rocky outcrop. It's hard to believe it's the island's fourth biggest place. We climb up into the citadel and have another coffee. Such is life. 

It's roasting sat in the sun. 

We explore the alleys and try to find a bike shop. The tourism office is locked up - closed for a two-hour lunch/siesta - but I change some travelers cheques at the main post office and the cashier gives us the address of one. We get there to find it has disappeared. 

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Back up in the cobbled center with its bullet peppered buildings and bars, we bump into a couple of guys on bikes who are from Scotland. They're on a short tour. We mention the brake cable problem and, hey presto, one of them produces a spare and proceeds to fit it. Dave's in luck. 

After that we decide to find a laundry and do a full load before finally setting off to find the D 18. It's late afternoon and the sun isn't so intense now, which is nice because we ride up again, going due north towards tiny Ponte Castrila.

It's a gentle climb. A bunch of roadies whiz by. We drop down to the crossroads with the D 84 and start going uphill again, still on the D 18. There are no cars on this route. Not one. It's another pearler. 

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Maquis covers the landscape, with granite peaks forming a high and dramatic horizon. 

Popalasca is so small that if we'd blinked we'd have missed it altogether. 

As the sun dips low, our speed picks up as the road snakes down to Ponte Leccia, where we quench our thirsts on cold juice purchased from a store before settling on a room in a hotel block belonging to a bar that's right across the road. 

After washing, we sit outside in a courtyard and drink Pietra, while our pizzas are getting cooked by a street vendor. 

Two Austrian mountain bikers arrive and we chat. 

It's been another sublime day.

Today's ride: 30 km (19 miles)
Total: 660 km (410 miles)

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