Riv de Bravona - Sermano
On day five I awoke to the soft bubbling and gurgling of the river flowing by and cold fresh air morning air. Sleeping next to running water is one of the best parts of backpacking. My goal for the fifth day was trekking down through another valley and back up to Sermano. At this point of the trip, I was worn but still doing ok physically and mentally except getting a bit tired of hotdogs at every dinner.
The night was pretty refreshing and I was quite satisfied with the comfort of my equipment. This was the one and only night I pitched the tarp and had the bivy under it, definitely not worth hauling the tart all those kilometers but since I had it I at least had to use it once. With a fully extended trekking pole at the entrance and a collapsed pole extending the rear, the tarp created quite a roomy space. Inside had plenty of space for gear but after years of bear camping, I get nervous about even storing my medkit close to my tent. I don’t want an unexpected animal encounter at night over some chapstick, so I store most of my belongings approx 10m away from my sleep shelter in my pack with the rain cover on. The main lesson learned was, only bring the tarp on group trips.
Leaving camp I headed up the river along the bank. After 1000m or so the brush got quite thick and I moved on to a crumbling concrete path following the bank. Unfortunately, after about 500m it disintegrated into nothing and the river became impassable without venturing into the water. At this point, I backtracked to a dirt road that ended across the river from the old stone farm building I slept next to. As I started that road I noticed the changed in biome, the coastal vegetation had given way to an equally dry evergreen pine forest. It reminded me of this part in Colorado Springs where I grew up, very beautiful. After a kilometer or so I rejoined the Mare a Mare as it continues to climb.
Eventually, the trail meets Mazzola and from there to Alando its mostly paved road. This is nice at first, seems easier, but after a while, the roads are like an oven in the mountain sun. The traffic is low and the roads felt quite safe. I appreciated the company of cyclist also out enjoying the outdoors. In peak season there are some little shops to stop at, but when I was there everything was closed all the way to Sermano.
In Sermano I was hoping to sleep on the San Nicolao chapel grounds but this was a much more inhabited area and the chapel had a full graveyard which I was not looking to distribute. Luckily directly outside the chapel grounds in the back, there is a corner in the stone wall that provides nice protection and a great view. Having shelter with such a small footprint continued to open possibilities like this. Also beyond following a very rough overgrown path is a river for showering and refilling water. All and all another successful day in the mounts of Corsica.