May in the Midi means changeable weather, in Corsica the weather is cold and wet and then voila, within a few minutes sunny and hot. There is snow on the mountains and if the breeze is coming from that direction, it is very chilly. The rain doesn’t cause too many problems, except out comes wet weather gear and ten minutes later it’s time to take it off again. Bien sur!
Our last two stops have been at Sant Florent, which is a small and quite lovely feudal village near the Patriamonio vineyards and a bit further South, Calvi.
Getting to the vineyards proved difficult. We couldn’t get to a vineyard, not a taxi, bus or car hire to be found in Sant Florent. Maybe it was because they have signs to tell you how fast you are going, how many points you will lose and how many Euros it will cost you.
Even though we couldn’t make it to the vineyard, there was a nice Vintner’s tasting shop which carried the very nice Corsican wine – Clos Teddi rose and we will be stocking up before leaving. (Are you coming, Rene? I will double the order).
This morning we sailed into Calvi- we sailed underneath the imposing Citadel which dominates the town and the marina. According to Rod Heikell, the citadel dates from the 13th century, around 1758, Horatio Nelson took it by land, but lost his eye in the battle. It is quite a hike up to top, but on the way there is a lovely Salon de The, so we were able to have a coffee to fuel the trip up.
Before we went on our little walk, we had a visit by five friends from French Customs at the marina. We invited them on board, but they declined and just asked for Merciers’ papers and our documents. They were very impressed with the giant kangaroo and emu crest embossed in gold on Mercier’s Australian registration papers. They were happy with Monsieur the Engineer and then asked if we had a house in France. Maybe it is the RSYS that was familiar. This was much less fraught for us compared last year – we have the papers and it is much easier to speak to the agents on the marina, than to have them board the yacht. On nearby yachts, people came up the companionway to see if we were illegal boat people. They were very interested to see their tax dollars at work.
Finally, there is the French National Triathlon Championship tomorrow and one of the boats nearby brought out his bike and his very flash contraption to put it together and a bike pump which seem to come out of a violin case. We think he brought the yacht as his own accommodation.