Today is the last day of walking, and is a relatively east stroll from Evisa to Porto via Ota. The first half is, according to the guidebook, one of the highlights of this part of Corsica.
I’m not entirely convinced, though. Mostly it’s descending through pine forest, which is pretty but not stunning. I’d probably have been more impressed had we not experienced the scenery on the first couple of days. I cross a couple of old bridges. Pretty and something that I’ve not seen yet this week but I’d hesitate to call it a highlight of my week here.
I stop for a drink in Ota, a beautifully situated village about half way on our walk.
The rest of the walk was on a tarmac road. Cars travel quickly even considering the narrow lanes and significant drops to the side, meaning that I tended to dive to the very side of the road whenever I heard a vehicle.
I entered Porto on a main road and head right to the sea-front, here my hotel is located. I get there and I see a “Hotel Ferme” sign, which I initially take to mean this entrance is closed but actually means the whole hotel. Not good.
I eventually find that I am booked into another hotel not far away, unfortunately it’s at this point that I realise that my bags were supposed to be heading by taxi to the closed place. I am assured that the taxi firm knew where to send the bags. I am less sure.
At the second hotel I find the receptionist doesn’t speak English and is not terribly interested in finding my bags. (Or maybe doesn’t understand, so I may be being mean here.)
I call the taxi company. They note that the first place is shut. (I know!) I’m currently panicking — a delay to the bags could screw up onward plans from here — and so am not entirely sure whether they commit to send the bags to the new hotel or not.
I decide to take a wander around town while I wait; there’ll little I can do and fretting is not helping!
Until the 1950′s there was little here except a Genoese fort on a rocky hill overlooking the bay. In 2007 there is the same tower, a few hotels, restaurants and cafes. In high season the place is overrun with tourists but in October it’s pleasantly laid-back. So laid-back, in fact, that most of the hotels, bars and restaurants are closed.
Still, the harbour is pretty and there’s a little excitement as an ambulance hurtles down from the mountains to a waiting helicopter.
Meanwhile, the bags do arrive and panic abates.
The guide book suggests two restaurants, noting that the others are generic tourist traps. Of course, out-of-season the good places shut. In fact, as noted above, most of them are. I end up in one slightly secluded place, hidden in the rocks below the tower right by the sea. It’s actually quite good and makes a pleasant end to the weeks walking.
Tomorrow I head back to Ajaccio.