June 14, 2014
A pleasant morning with no wait for breakfast – we made it ourselves in our little stone refuge – nor line to use the toilet.
The morning trek, again, like every other morning, starts up the hill behind the Gîte d’Étape U Fugone. It’s a relatively short climb, steep in places but generally well graded.
Although the trail follows the contour of the mountain slope, the incredible views of the snow-capped mountains behind us are blocked by ever present towering pines. There is just enough of a view to tease but no real open vista until the Crête (ridge) de Cardu, but what a view.
From here the trail continues to contour the mountain slope through mostly forest down to the Bergeries d’Alzeta. A shaded cool place to stop for a photo and refuel before the climb up to Bocca (pass) Palmento. Not a difficult climb, but stony. From the pass there are magnificent views of Monte d’Oro.
It’s a steep descent down the other side to the cut off for the Hotel Monte d’Oro.
Directions to Hotel Monte d’Oro
The Cicerone guide book gives directions from Hotel Monte d’Oro heading south to connect again with the GR20. If you’re starting in the south and want to stay at the hotel or just bypass Vizzavona, you have to follow the guide book’s directions in reverse order which can be a little tricky. I have therefore made the following notes.
Starting at the Bocca Palmento descend down the GR20. The trail enters the forest and continues down the hill. At a sharp horseshoe bend to the right you’ll see a sign marking the trail to Col de Vizzavona to your left. The trail is blazed yellow and/or blue gray.
Descend through the forest to a boulder strewn intersection. Painted on a boulder in blue is an arrow pointing back up the GR20 from where you just came, make a sharp right and continue down the hill.
Shortly you’ll reach another sign-posted junction marking the way to the GR20 – again back the way you came, turn left here down a path leaving the beech woods and entering a pine forest. This track heads down to a forest road.
Turn left on the road, continue past the Ruisseau (stream) de Fulminato until the end of the road. Ignore the signs marking the sentiers (trails) and continue on the road until the end. At the end point are two trails down, one on either side. They both lead to the same trail below, but the one to the right marked sentier is an easier track down. Follow this trail a short distance to a junction and
take the path left towards the restaurant A Muntagnera and the Col de Vizzavona (to the right is the trail back to the town of Vizzavona). In a short time you’ll be paralleling N193 auto route and pass behind A Muntagnera.
A short ways from here, you’ll see a truck depot on your right. Cross through the depot to hit the road. Turn left and follow the road to the hotel a short distance on your left.
*Note: The GR20 consists of 15 or 16 stages over 118 miles, generally done north to south starting in Calenzana and ending in Conca. For this blog I’ve retained the commonly used stage numbers from the Cicerone Guide Book even though we did the stages out of order, starting in the south stages 15-10 and then restarting in the north 1-9.