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Old 07-05-2012, 02:44 PM   #31
squawk77 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybridchemistry View Post
Can I ask what your budget for the whole trip was?
I wasn't really on a tight budget this trip, more tight for time. I tallied it up after to about 100/day. Avoiding hotels by camping or using hostels would be the easiest way to save in W Europe I think. Next time I plan tighten the budget once I am better equipped and also travelling to more 'reasonably priced' countries.

Gas was around 1.7/L so tank of gas is around 20, filling up once or twice a day about 30/day
Hotels were usually asking 100 and I could usually get 75. Camping half the time say average 40/day
Average cost for food say 30/day
Random expenses say 5/day

The ferry to Corsica and back from Sardinia were 150 (including room) and 35 between Corsica-Sardinia
Toll roads are expensive in France/Italy and should be avoided anyways. Many places didn't take plastic, especially in Sardinia, so need to carry some Euros at least for gas.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:26 PM   #32
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:18 PM   #33
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Day VIII

The next morning I pressed southward. I stopped at a prehistoric site called Filitosa. Turns out it was opening for the season the next day and they wouldn't let me in a day early.. so I decided it was a good time to loop back around and see some of the interior of Corsica. I'm still amazed at how Corsica can look magnificent in so many entirely different ways, for such a small island. Even in between the scenic passes the roads in the interior were peaceful and a joy to ride, almost therapeutic.











Found a nice deserted beach out a dirt road behind some farms. Marked it on the GPS in case I was looking for a beach another day












Some parts of Corsica are covered in thick forests, and others look like a barren wasteland. It's interesting to look through the GoPro pictures when I find things I didn't notice myself. I assumed there had been a fire here, the sign on the ground says "Following the fire in July 2009 (or 2003?), la Corse du Sud recommends extra precaution" or something to that effect. There was a sign earlier about this road being closed during bad weather.









Around Zonza I followed my GPS down a narrow back road between a few main roads. I slowed down, but I failed to see the dirt washed across the road on a bend in the shade. I lowsided and didn't slide too far at all, but somehow the bike flipped around shearing off both mirrors, snapping off the bobble brake reservoir and cracking the windshield support bracket. I zip tied the brake reservoir back on its bracket, the GPS to the brake line, my boot back together and threw the mirrors under the Rok straps. I figured I'd be able to get the mirror bolts from a BMW dealer somewhere. The KNOX palm sliders kept my gloves in tact, and the Kevlar jeans saved my kneecaps. Not sure how my toes would have looked without those heavy boots? I was saving the GoPro battery and didn't care to take any pictures at the time. I actually think that GS bikes look even better with some character, but that windshield mount would be a pain to replace.













I wanted to see the Solenzara Air Base on the east coast but after that I would head back into the interior twisties. I fueled up, stopped for charcuterie (my de facto meal in Corsica), picked up a bottle wine at a vineyard for €3, and set the GPS for Corte (the old capital of independent Corsica)







Corte fascinated me. It felt isolated between all the mountains, and genuinely old. My pictures don't really do the place any justice. I checked out the main street and citadel on the top and then found a hotel outside of town. Even though the hotel entrance was a cattle bridge to keep the neighbours out, the room was very fancy and right next to a stream against the mountains.







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Old 07-14-2012, 11:15 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squawk77 View Post
Around Zonza I followed my GPS down a narrow back road between a few main roads. I slowed down, but I failed to see the dirt washed across the road on a bend in the shade. I lowsided and didn't slide too far at all, but somehow the bike flipped around shearing off both mirrors, snapping off the bobble brake reservoir and cracking the windshield support bracket. I zip tied the brake reservoir back on its bracket, the GPS to the brake line, my boot back together and threw the mirrors under the Rok straps. I figured I'd be able to get the mirror bolts from a BMW dealer somewhere. The KNOX palm sliders kept my gloves in tact, and the Kevlar jeans saved my kneecaps. Not sure how my toes would have looked without those heavy boots? I was saving the GoPro battery and didn't care to take any pictures at the time. I actually think that GS bikes look even better with some character, but that windshield mount would be a pain to replace.
Ouch! Sorry to hear about that, but I gotta agree with you, a trip like yours is good for building character in your self and the bike
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:46 AM   #35
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Ouch! Sorry to hear about that, but I gotta agree with you, a trip like yours is good for building character in your self and the bike
For sure it was an experience!

Here's a video from that ride through the burnt forest

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Old 07-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #36
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Day IX

The next morning I set off towards the BMW dealer in Ajaccio to find new bolts for my mirrors. Apparently the number the dealer gave me for BMW assistance was only in Germany. Again, the mountains looked completely different from before, and the vegetation did as well. I rode by a damn, a ski hill, some quaint towns and many animals on the loose. In Ajaccio, they were unable to help me fix my mirrors without ordering the bolts, and it seems to be quite the hassle to order 2 bolts to a dealership in another country. Since I was there, I headed back up towards the scenery of the Scandola Reserve. I found a deserted beach to camp on for the night. Well, deserted except for a few free range cows. I would have happily paid for a camp site, but they were all still closed in May.







































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Old 07-15-2012, 02:51 PM   #37
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:37 PM   #38
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The next morning I packed up and headed off towards the port of Bonifacio, the southernmost tip of Corsica. It's an interesting part of Corsica, so I decided to spend another day there instead of catching the ferry to Sardinia right away. Bonifacio is a fortress build on a coastal cliff, with a harbor of yachts and sailboats. I read that it's a packed tourist place in the summer, but fairly relaxed in April. I also read that Bonifacio can be more expensive than the rest of Corsica, but the only crazy price I noticed was the coin operated laundry. In was another unique side of Corsica, and I wanted to soak it all in during my last last chance to explore this island.

















Silly expensive laundry in Bonifacio












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Old 11-17-2012, 03:00 PM   #39
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I came to an odd abandoned looking place with several workers dawned in white respirator suits.

Nonza , old asbestos mine, thus the respirators .
The big beach down respect the town is made from mine debris
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:04 AM   #40
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Nonza , old asbestos mine, thus the respirators .
The big beach down respect the town is made from mine debris
Ahh now it makes sense! Thanks In Canada we have the gargantuan open pit asbestos mines as well but you don't drive right through them next to the workers on a scenic route like that! Nonza is a great town though
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:09 AM   #41
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Sardinia

Corsica was my main destination for this trip but I'd hoped to make it around Sardinia as well if at all possible. I was making good progress so far thanks to the good weather, so I went for it! Sardinia is quite a bit different than Corsica for such a short ferry ride. There are more modern highways and buildings, more tourist resorts and seems a bit more densely populated. There are also many more Roman and prehistoric sites as well from the Nuragic civilization unique to Sardinia. I camped near the coast for a night and then got a hotel room in the capital Cagliari. In the smaller towns it was nearly impossible to find an open hotel in April. I don't speak any Italian besides grazie and prego but it was never really an issue. I love getting a wood-fired calzone (just ensure you pronounce it right) from a random side street for like €3 or 4. As always, the food in Italy is outstanding!





Cagliari:
















Cool location for a football field:












They're building a rock fence! The rocks went on for quite a distance too! And I thought piling wood was arduous!


The little work horse of Sardinia. I met these things everywhere




I realized my winging-it methodology usually relies on being able to read the signs though. I must have missed any indicators for Su Nuraxi di Barumini UNESCO site unfortunately as I drove nearby it but I only realized it afterwards. I probably would have enjoyed seeing something like that more than Pisa to be honest. Maybe another time
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:32 AM   #42
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Heading Home

I took the overnight ferry from Golfo Aranci to Livorno, Italy. My plan was now to just hang out and see some of the Italian tourist sites and figure out the best method to tackle the Apls in April. I'd been fairly lucky so far with the weather but now it was quite rainy. Besides that the city traffic was now much worse than I'd been in lately and I started to consider my backup plan. I knew the overnight Deutsche Bahn Motorail would leave from Alessandria that day so I decided to head that way and see what happens. I arrived to see them loading cars and bikes on the train and went in to ask. By the time I got through the lines and figured out the Deutsche Bahn doesn't actually have a desk there, it was too late to load my bike. Ah well, turns out I'd have to ride through Switzerland after all!











Polizia in Pisa








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Old 01-26-2013, 03:42 PM   #43
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So I went to find a hotel with WiFi to download the Swiss openstreetmaps for my Garmin from this handy site. The next morning I put on the thermal underwear in anticipation of cold mountain altitudes and hoped that would be enough. I was planning to buy a Klim suit, but I did have Gore-tex boots, gloves, jacket, shemagh and thick kevlar jeans... This area of northern Italy is really beautiful and I hope to get back there again. I was mostly eager to see Switzerland for the first time but leaving Italy was a great ride. Quiet towns, smooth windy roads, lakes, mountains, sun, pizzerias.. what more can you ask for?











Valentino himself?


















At this border crossing, the guard said something in Swiss German and laughed. I'm guessing: "You're going to freeze your balls off!!" And then waved me through without checking anything
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:35 AM   #44
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Corsica is really a magical place, lovely island.
I've been there twice, 3 weeks each time, and I still want to go again...
Thanks a lot for taking me back, wanna go there now - tomorrow, naah today. Damn...

Enjoyed your report, thanks.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:37 AM   #45
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Nice RR and some how I get the feeling that Alizee has worked in a place or two with a floor to ceiling brass pole...
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