Another sunny day but a fresh headwind kept the temperature down until we’d dropped down a few hundred metres. After climbing back up the hill to the village, we enjoyed the easy run down through the forest of Zonza and le forêt d’Ospedale. After rising up again to the Col d’llarate it was a fast downhill ride to Porto Vecchio, stopping on the way for an uncomfortably cool picnic by a reservoir. Then down again and I had to stop for a while to revive my feet as the movement through the chilly mountain air had numbed them.
We reached a big hypermarché on the edge of Porto Vecchio at 14:10 and were surprised to find it was closed for lunch and wouldn’t reopen until 14:30. Luckily the patisserie over the road was open so we filled up on gorgeous custard and vanilla flan while we waited to get our shopping for the evening. Porto Vecchio was quite a contrast from the mountains, hot and busy. Christine spent ages in the post office changing a travellers cheque – these had been a mistake as cash machines weren’t hard to find yet every bank we saw was closed. After reaching the head of a long queue, the cashier phoned to check and eventually handed over the cash – four €50 notes and one €200 note, not a popular denomination with shopkeepers.
At last we were out of there and not enjoying the very fast, busy main road towards Bonifacio so we turned off at the first opportunity. We were very tired by now so checked in at the first campsite we found, which was near Pallumbaggia. We slept well but woke up to find we’d been attacked by mosquitoes in the night.