We started off with more rain, and 3 loads of now soaking-wet laundry that I had to put back into the washer to spin dry. I finally put the drying rack inside the house because we weren’t sure when the rain would let up. Eric saw blue sky off to the west/south, so we headed towards Piana after an early lunch.
We first stopped to hike at the Tête du Chien, a short, fun hike climbing up and down a rocky path that ends at a natural rock formation called the "château fort" (fortress).
Tête du Chien = dog's head. See it?
That's our car in the foreground: a 2005 Opel Zafira. A bit beat-up but it runs well and seats 7 people.
The hike was supposed to take an hour round-trip, and I think we did it faster than that. Ivy walked with me most of the day and went in the Ergo on the way back. It ended at the edge of a huge outcropping—kind of like an enormous spine the size of a mountain. Amazing views.
|See the château fort?|
Next, we drove to see Piana (elevation 438 meters), rated one of the most beautiful villages in France. Unlike Porto, which is comprised of hotels and not much else, this was a real village where people actually live. It’s near the top of a rounded mountain overlooking a dramatic fall to the sea.
Next up: a harrowing drive down the D624 to the Plage de Ficajola.
It’s 4 kilometers (but feels much longer) of a single-width road switchbacking down the side of the mountain. No guard rails and steep drop-offs and a 16% grade. Eek!
The road ends at a parking lot and then there’s a hike to get down to the beach. Almost all the coastline here is steep cliffs or mountains, so the occasional beach is a rare find. This one had sand (large grains, so easy to clean up). When we arrived, there was only one other family. But by time we left, it was filling up with similarly adventuresome people.
I watched after all the kids while Eric went spearfishing. The ocean was very rough, so I was stressed the whole time making sure all the kids were safe and worrying about Eric. I know it doesn’t do any good, but I can’t help it.
At one point Ivy nearly got pulled into the water because of a rogue wave. It wasn’t that dangerous, but deep enough that it was just about to knock her over. I grabbed her arm and pulled her higher up the beach. Then the water came up even higher, splashed right over Inga, and pushed her against a rock.
So we moved our things farther up the beach!
Eric came back disappointed : he saw lots of big fish but didn’t hit anything. The water was full of fish eggs. There were huge areas floating on the surface that looked like dirty foam, but he said it was all eggs.
We reversed our adventures to go home: drive back up the crazy narrow road, through Piana, along the magnificent D81 with its panoramic vistas...
We got home around 4:30. I prepared curry & rice and fresh bread. We ate outside because voila! the sun finally peeked out. It was cool but comfortable in the sun.
Now everyone is in bed, and Eric is hoping to catch a soccer match at 9pm.