We have booked ferry tickets to Bastia,Corsica from Livorno, Italy. We chose this crossing since it is only 4 1/2 hours and leaves and arrives in the day time. The more southern crossing to Sardinia is an overnight ferry with the need for an expensive stateroom. The ferry is also a lot cheaper on Tuesday and so we have a day to ride in Tuscany instead of riding directly the 185 km to the ferry we did 346 km, which took 8 hours.
First we backtracked a bit from Roberto’s over some of the roads we had been on just so we could get south. We traveled on the tiny roads south to Bagni san Filipo and then over the mountains to Pitigliano.
Pitigliano is perched on the shear cliff side. They have dug caves into the walls and there are shops and businesses inside them.
From here we continued west to Termes di Saturnia, but did not visit as the smell of the sulphur from the road was enough for us. We did have to stop at an ATM to get cash since the unattended gas pumps sometimes will not take a chip card.
Then we went north again to visit the Abbey at San Galgano.
“The Abbey of Saint Galgano was a Cistercian Monastery found in the valley of the river Merse between the towns of Chiusdino and Monticiano, in Tuscany. Presently, the roofless walls of the Gothic style 13th-century Abbey church still stand. Nearby are the chapel or Eremo or Rotonda di Montesiepi (1185), the tomb of Saint Galgano and the purported site of his death in 1181, the sword said to have been planted in the ground by Galgano and a chapel with frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.”
Now it was 530 and we had a 2 1/2 hour drive to Livorno. We were a bit frustrated as we had searched for and finally found a Mc Donalds in Cecina , but their wifi was not working. We had had enough by just after 7 and found a hotel on the side of the road, with a nice view of the nuclear power plant! No really. Our hotel did have wifi briefly, but currently the internet is “off”. Frustrating when you are trying to get some work done.
So now we are just 35 km from the port and we managed to find some small roads to get us there. We got gas and food for the ferry.
We were told to follow the signs on the very circuitous route thru town to the port, but arrived in plenty of time. The boat was loaded by 1 for the 2 pm departure.
They were very organized with the loading and the staff and signage on the car decks. They were quick to set up all the bikes and each spot was already laid out with tie downs. Dan had to duck so as not to hit his head on the upper deck.
We got up on deck and scored some comfy deck chairs to work on our tans.
It was a very calm sunny crossing, but arriving in Corsica it was totally fogged in.
We disembarked at 715 and so our plan to ride a bit was kiboshed by the time and the weather. We had a 23 km ride from the port of Bastia to the seaside town of Saint Florent, but this was over a high pass and took 45 minutes.
The fog hampered visibility to the point I could not even see Daniel in front of me and this was over steep hairpin switchbacks. It was extremely windy as well making for a stressful half hour.
On the other side of the pass the weather was still very windy, but much better. Arriving at the hotel we found a dozen other bike already parked there.
We did a small tour of the sea side and had cheese and crackers for dinner since we could not stomach another bad and expensive tourist meal in the local restaurants.
The forecast was for rainy weather, but it was downgraded to occasional thunder showers in spots, but we got up to a cloudy but dry day. Step one was to head back over the pass(still foggy but better) to Bastia since we wanted to ride around the Cap Corsica (the northern peninsula), but counter clock-wise so as to be on the sea side lane while riding.
Everyone all set to go in different directions.
It was nice leaving Saint Florent, but of course the pass was a white out, but not nearly as bad as the previous evening for fog or the howling wind.
Back in Bastia we had better visibility for the ride north to the Cape!
The weather held out and was actually sunny and hot by the time we got to the small roads to the tiny sea side towns of the north cape.
Some of the roads surface here is pretty bad. On the ride back south on the west of the peninsula the road hangs on the cliff side with spectacular views of the aqua blue ocean.
These guys did not think the counter clockwise think thru!
The wild west coast of the Cape.
We arrived to Lile-Rousse just before the torrents of rain started!