Our stay in the south west of Corsica came to an end and it was time to take another road trip to the east coast of the island. We rented a small house in a town called Casamozza, one hour up north from the famous Porto Vecchio. The drive was about 2.5 hours from our previous village and again, it led us through very windy and curvy roads. The views during the drive were spectacular - a coast line overlooking turquoise water and white sandy beaches, everything surrounded by green mountains - a unreal and picturesque scenery. Both Rick and I were completely taken by what we saw, until we heard Mila coughing on the back seat...and here we go again, another "messy performance" given by the motion sickness of our daughter. Why oh why was this happening to us!? I wanted to scream (and I probably did, can't remember now). But hey, on the other side, we’re pros when it comes to cleaning up vomit in the car, another day, another lesson. We really felt bad for Mila and her getting car sick, but walking through Corsica was not an option :-) So Corsica's roads 2, Hermans 0.
We managed to get to our destination without anyone getting sick again. Our house did not have the perfect location (right off the main road and probably good 30 minutes from the beaches). We learned that if you are planning a vacation on the island in Corsica, you need to book your place good 6-8 months ahead of time, not 30 days or less. First day at our new location was pretty calm and relaxing. We did some grocery shopping and grilled out- vegetable kebabs, steak and fish, plus wine, of course.
The next morning, we all woke up feeling rested and refreshed and decided to go straight to the beach. As I said before, our location is not ideal but we have to deal with it. We drove about 45-50 minutes down south to a beach called Pinarella. We did some research prior to this trip and this beach was listed as top ten on the east coast…hmmm, according to…well, not to us. I really think we got spoiled being on the west coast, staying in our beach pad overlooking the beautiful sea. Pinarella beach was messy, very messy, full of sea weed pilled up at the shore and full of people…not our cup of tea for sure. First, I was kinda pissed and disappointed that we were spending our day at this location but my kids gave me a different perspective. I was boiling inside, looking at this beach and thinking where we could relocate, in other words, I was completely selfish. And here I looked at my kids, being so happy, making friends with the french kids, climbing the piles of seaweed, splashing in the water and having a good time. Immediately, my attitude changed - it was not just about me…it was about my whole family creating memories in a new place. I also started to see pluses of that beach…first of all, the water was super shallow and calm, which allowed for Leo and Mila to swim and run in the sea without being knocked down by the crazy waves. Secondly, after an hour of being there, many people left the beach and it got much less crowded. So once I changed my state of mind, everything else changed for better. We all had an amazing time, swimming in the sea, chasing each other in the water, laughing and being silly. The beaches on the west coast are much nicer, wild, and untamed, but I am not going to let one less attractive beach to bring my spirits down. And honestly, given my current situation, I really have no room to complain…
The next morning, we opted to trade the beaches for a river spot - the Cavu river since that location had some natural pools tucked between the mountains. Well, there were some water spots created by the river but all of them were filled with people, kids, tourists, you name it. I looked as if the whole neighborhood came there and decided to take a dip in the water. Yes, there were mountains in the back and beautiful blue sky, nevertheless, it did not make up for the busy area. Our kids of course enjoyed that place but it was not our cup of tea, next please!
We left after one hour and decided to drive a little bit south to one of the top 10 beaches - Palombaggia. Every single review about this beach had 5 starts and it sounded like a paradise. As we were getting closer to the destination, we noticed cars everywhere, parked along the road. Luckily, we were able to find a spot on the main parking lot closer to the beach. We walked through a little pine forest that lead straight to the beach…or I don't know what it was because it did not look like a beach. Very narrow, wide enough for 2 towels, packed, I mean jam packed, like sardines in a can! Corsica, why are you doing this to us?! We walked along the water and tried to find enough space to put our blanket down and we finally found it, next to a stand with jet ski rentals. There were people walking everywhere, left and right, or they were swimming in the water, or sitting right next to you on the “beach”, or getting on and off the water toys, I felt almost like an outdoor airport. Yes, it was a perfect stop to people watch but that was not our intention. We did our best and for most part, we played with the kids in the water since there was not enough room to build sand castles. We finally left, fighting against all of the people who were trying to get to their cars just like us. When we got back to our house, we started to prepare dinner…I heard Leo calling me in the bathroom to tell me that the toilet was leaking, hmmm…well, thats a problem…For a second I thought to myself, at least we have a yard, NOT! Our host was notified and took care of it within 24 hours.
So you see, traveling to tropical and exotic places is not always as picturesque and ideal as it sounds. We were a bit disappointed by the beaches on the east coast of the island. If you like crowds and to be seen, this side of Corsica will suit you well. However, if you are looking for peace and quite, less crowds and more nature, then the west coast of the island should be your choice. It’s almost comparable as going to Florida and trying to find a paradise. Most people would go to Miami and South Beach, busy and fun place, full of people and life. We are usually attracted to something completely opposite of that. A place where you can listen to the sound of the ocean, not loud music and voices. To each their own…