Charting La Corse

A couple of Saturdays ago, Ben and I drove to Nice to catch a car ferry to Bastia, a town located on the northern tip of Corsica. The entire journey took about six hours.


We spent our time eating lunch, playing cards, and touring the massive decks.


We arrived in Bastia just as twilight began to descend upon the island; gigantic hills and mountains loomed eerily in the distance as we made our way south to our guesthouse in the town of Corte.

We spent the next few days taking advantage of what Corsica had to offer in the way of hikes, beaches and seafood, which is to say we enjoyed ourselves very much.

Although a part of France, Corsica seemed a world apart, with its wild terrain and impossibly clear water. I loved it for its beauty and utter lack of pretension. As we boarded the overnight ferry back to Nice, I felt distinctly sad to be leaving so soon.

Bedtime on the sea

Picos de Europa

The Picos de Europa are a stunning range among the Cantabrian Mountains, located in northern Spain. Last week, Ben and I attacked them from both the northwest and south, hiking a couple of its magnificent trails.

Located 7 miles (12km) uphill from where we were based in Covadonga, the Ruta de Lagos is a 3.5 mile trail that loops around a couple glacial lakes, Lake Enol and Lake Ercina.

Lago de la Ercina

We found that while the general direction of the route was well-marked, there was no strict path to adhere to, which allowed for a little adventurous improvisation from time to time.

After our stay in Covadonga, we drove south through the Parque Natural de Ponga, on a winding road that threaded through a few lovely mountain villages.

Along the AS-261
San Juan de Beleño

Our exploration of the Picos de Europa culminated in the famous Ruta del Cares, where we hiked 12.4 miles (20km) through a spectacular gorge, making a few animal friends along the way.

Taking a Hike

We awoke yesterday morning and felt like a hike. With the Pyrénées reachable by car in under two hours, we embarked on an impromptu road trip to the mountains. It was a bonafide adventure: we knew the general direction of where we wanted to go, but not much else. 

We stopped for lunch in Lourdes and eventually found ourselves on a road that led us over the initial foothills of the Pyrénées. That is how we discovered Cauterets, a quaint ski town nestled picturesquely in the mountains.

A walking trail conveniently began at the edge of town.

After hiking for an hour or so, we made our way back to the centre ville for coffee. It was a mild winter day and perfect weather for people-watching from a cafe terrace. We plan to return for a ski one of these days.