No wonder Paddy Dillon described the GR20 as 'one of the top trails in the world'.It's got everything from exposed ridges where basic scrambling is required to rugged gorges and alpine plateau's that reveal magical landscapes and vista's.The scenery was spectacular as towering pinnacles of rock overlooked dense forests of Lariccio pines.The opportunity to climb some of the highest mountains on the island on our 'rest day' was an added bonus.Any reasonably fit person with the right gear and a head for heights should cope with the undulations and roughness of terrain on this beautiful island.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Probably the traverse of the Cirque de la Solitude - from the Bocca Tomasginesca it gives the appearance of a bottomless chasm but it's not as difficult as it first appears - however I must say we were very lucky with the weather as I'm sure it's a different proposition in the wet.
There was a palpable air of achievement as we dragged ouselves upward and out onto the Bocca Minuta to the sound of churring Alpine Choughs, as if in celebration of our survival
- What did you think of your group leader?
Barbara was a good group leader, authoritative when needed but relaxed when the situation required a little leeway. She had obviously done her research on Corsica because her geographical, historical and cultural knowledge of the island was impressive.
Getting fifteen of us through the Cirque de la Solitude would have taxed the patience of Jobe but her measured approach ensured a positive effect on the group.
Her pacing on some of the steep sections was about right (for me anyway) and she made sure backmarkers got a fair amount of recovery time.
The only drawback was her lack of appreciation of my rather risque jokes (the other guys found them funny).
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Travel as light as possible without taking risks (especially with water) - we encountered one individual carrying a 100 litre sack who had run out of water, fortunately we were able to help.
Get a kitbag with wheels, at the end of a tough day the last thing that you want is to drag a heavy bag to the bunkhouse.
Although the food was generally good be prepared to eat anything, don't go without because you don't like the look of something - remember, you can't eat enough to replace what you're burning off.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
It's possible to do this walk alone, however this would detract from the sense of cameraderie and achievement engendered by a group. I and others benefitted from the generosity, encouragement and humour of a diverse group of people doing something that they enjoy.
We were lucky to have a great group of people led by someone who knew what she was doing - but then, we're walkers aren't we.