We were woken around 06:00 but by the time we’d squeezed round each other to get ready in the tiny cabin and repacked our numerous pannier bags, our vessel was manoeuvering into dock so we just had time to grab a very quick complimentary breakfast before disembarking. Bastia didn’t look especially interesting so we just stopped off at a café for some extra breakfast and rode/pushed our laden bikes up the steep hill out of town. It was a shock to have to handle hills and heavy bikes after two days of sitting around on trains, boats and planes. We hit the quiet D81 road inland and climbed up to the Col de Teghime then dropped down to the lovely little seaside resort of St Florent. The D81 took us back inland across the Desert des Agriates to enjoy the wonderful views over the rocky landscape towards the azure Mediterranean. The air was clear and the weather was warm and sunny, not too hot for cycling, just about perfect.
The original plan was to stop at Casta and the following day ride the 12km down the track to the beach (Saleccia Plage) but 15:00 was an awkward time to arrive. It was too late to do the ride today but having only just got going we didn’t want to hang around as there was nothing else there apart from the scenery we viewed from the road. We pressed on to Ile Rousse, the last section being along the busy N197, forsaking the first campsite as it was right by the road. We took a quick look at the town then continued past the supermarket where we stopped to shop for dinner and on to the campsite. It looked closed but someone came up to us and told us where we could camp. The camp shop, where we’d hoped to buy gas for our stove, hadn’t yet opened for the season so I rushed back to the supermarket arriving just before it closed for the night. They had gas canisters but not to fit our stove so we had to settle for raw vegetables for dinner, it being too late to consider cycling into town to dine out.