Ghisoni: via Col de Verde - On Corse - CycleBlaze

Ghisoni: via Col de Verde

We wake to blue skies and set off after our coffees and croissants on a steady climb from Zicavo up to Col de Verde. 

We seem to do it okay and once at the very top - after riding about 22 kilometers from Zicavo - we decide to have a coffee at a cafe that's right near the col's brown, bullet-blasted altitude sign. It proves to be a mistake as it's a crappy Nescafe concoction. Be warned. 

The good news is the D 69 has been devoid of vehicles again and the drop is stupendous. 

Trees shade the route, but every now and again gaps appear to offer glimpses of towering peaks and acres of forest-covered terrain with no trace of human activity. 

My map says we're slap bang in Parc Naturel Régional de Corse. It's pretty hard not to be, as it covers a whopping 40 percent of Corsica. 

It's a blast whizzing to Ghisoni. Once we arrive in the one-street village we explore the place, looking for room options. There's an old church and rows of rustic homes. There are no people walking around. 

The intriging D344 disappears up the other side of the valley. Tomorrow we'll venture up the D69 to another col. There's only one place to stay.

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The receptionist is sassy and the twin room is 50 euros with breakfast. It's one of those old-styled continental bedrooms with the toilet inside, hidden by a screen. The shower cubicle ditto. 

The owner (maybe Sassy's father) doesn't have a great grasp of English, but our French is okay enough to be able to successfully order two Pietras.  We're a pair of geniuses. 

We opt to have dinner there, too, and sit outside enjoying it right by the road while a few cars drive by. It feels like a Sunday. 

A 30-something couple appear and I notice the woman is carrying an Ortlieb barbag on her shoulder, so ask them if they're cycling here. They are; on a short tour. Two Germans. 

They join us, but don't have Pietra. Both seem deadly serious. 

He works for a pharmaceutical giant and seems to enjoy it by the way he talks shop. I feel I should tell that it's good to let your hair down sometimes, but don't bother.

Today's ride: 45 km (28 miles)
Total: 580 km (360 miles)

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