Porto Vecchia

The “old port” on a relatively flat area in the south east of Corsica has a new port area for those luxury yachts, with some expensive restaurants to treat their owners, and a delightful old village set on top of a rock, oozing bars and restaurants for the rest of the world.

Although invaded numerous times, the biggest killer of the local population was malaria from the rampant swamps that lie on the flat plain.  The swamps were finally drained and cleaned up in the 1940’s as part of building infrastructure to assist France and the Allies in the war effort.  Eucalypts were planted to assist in the drainage, so now there are large tracts of our beautiful trees.  As most of Corsica is rocky, this plain is crammed full of farms producing all kinds of produce.

A short drive away is Casteddu D’Araghju, a complex of fortification dating back 35 centuries to the Bronze Age.  We climbed a steep, rocky hill to reach Araghju, which provided a wonderful view, and a safe observation point, over the plain and the bays that make up this area.

We drove further in the nearby mountains to the lake near L’ospedale and tried to imagine how the bike riders in next year’s Tour de France will manage these massive hills with constant twists and turns.

We stopped at a beach and swam in the warm, salty Mediterranean.  Certainly different to Port Phillip Bay at the beginning of summer.