Some early birds – literally – accompany us polyphoniccaly to the foot of a mountain. With bated breath we listen to the endearing birdsongs, which, like a magic spell, suck us deeper and deeper into the forest. The golden-yellow rays of the awakening morning sun break with tight stripes through the thick foliage. Could a morning be even more perfect than this …? The crackling of small twigs underneath my hiking boots suddenly awakens me from my daydream. The path turns to the left and then goes up steeply. Reality check …! Done with poetically darting about flat sensuous paths in the shimmering morning sun. Go ask those early birds for a more combative playlist, because it’s back to working again!

Wim has good legs today. I can barely keep up with his pace. It doesn’t take long before we have climbed our way out of the forest to end up on a grass-covered ridge. We are overwhelmed by a 360 degree panorama.

We cross a wide path, after which it’s still false flat over a goat track to the top of the mountain.

When we finally reach the highest point, the view becomes even more spectacular than it already was.

On the other side of the valley a stately mountain range appears, which towers over a large lake in the valley. High in the top some elongated white clouds stick almost motionless to the mountain.

Two hikers, who were at our heels during the climb, only stay a few minutes on this wonderful place. Wim couldn’t stand it when they managed to overtake us just before the mountain top. But when I notice that they want to continue the “race” past the top and try to get back on track as soon as possible in order to take a nice lead on us, I don’t mind letting them go their way. I’m not in for a race today. Just let me enjoy this moment forever.

A large boulder, planted in the middle of the summit, invites me to sit on it. Wim sits next to me. For almost a full hour we do nothing else but stare straight in front of us. Here, we don’t have to do anything. Here, we are free. And it feels good.

We have to descend all the way to the lake. We see that there are several villages in the valley and that reassures us. After all, we still have to do some shopping and that will probably work down there.

We walk down over rolling rocks. More than once we almost twist our ankle. When we arrive closer to the civilized world, we are surprised by a landfill. Apparently the locals thought it was a good idea to just dump their rubbish here in the forest. Plastic bottles, bags and construction debris are spread all over the ground and the path. Unfortunately, we have often seen such scenes in Corsica during our previous visits. We never get used to it however. And maybe that’s a good thing. But it still sets the mood during the further descent. Even when we – quite unexpectedly – pass by the racing hikers from earlier, our mood doesn’t turn around and we continue to execrate the instigators of the rubbish dump out loud.

When we arrive at the first village, we see a signpost towards a bar. We only need one glance in each other’s eyes to turn away from the path unanimously and follow the signpost. But the bar seems to have gone up in smoke and after several hundred meters we disappointed retrace our steps. When we suddenly see a pizzeria popping up out of nowhere, the smell of Mediterranean delicacies pulls us ruthlessly inside.

When we have eaten our belly full, we want to walk for another hour. But half an hour later we see a nice spot on the other side of a river to set up our tent.

To get there we have to cross an obstacle course over thick round boulders. We both manage to reach the other side with dry feet. For a moment the sun shows the best of itself, before disappearing behind the mountains and forcing us into our sleeping bags.

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