Maybe France is okay

Trip Start Jul 15, 2010
Trip End Aug 10, 2010

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Flag of France  , Corsica,
Friday, July 23, 2010

Corsica is the biggest surprise of all. This is a rugged chunk 
of rock jutting up out of the Mediterranean like a monolith. The sheer 
remoteness and inaccessibility of Corsica makes you feel that you've 
finally escaped the grasp of civilization. The Wind Surf arrives at 
Porto Vecchio on a hot July morning, and we make our way to this shallow 
water port on a tender. Our tour today takes us about 40 miles up the 
coast and then inland to another village that time has forgotten, 
Sartene, Corsica. Not a big tourist hub, Sartene survives as it did 
a 1000 years ago. Wine, cheese, lavender, olives, fine hams and cured 
meats are the brand here, and wow are they spectacular. The Catholics 
here have a different twist. They are known a "penitents" or those 
who must do penance. Once a year they have a festival where "chosen 
men" drag crosses through the streets, flagellate themselves with 
thorny switches, and in the end one is crucified. No nails, just rope. 
I don't get it. Add to this these mountain families have vendettas 
going on that have lasted for over a 100 years. Allegedly the Mafia is 
alive and well in Corsica as it always has been. We pass by Napoleon's 
summer home and it's back to the port. A and I have some lunch at this 
little place with rude young French waiters; first time the people 
were anything but warm and accommodatingly. The food however was great, 
more sea treasures for me and A gets a pizza. WHAT?? Tomorrow is Porto 
Ferriario on the island of Elba off the coast of Italy.
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Joannah M. on

I'm drooling, M and A! Hope to get to Corsica and Sardinia one of these years. And if you get homesick for the penitente, you can always go down to Chimayo, south of Taos, and watch them re-enact the crucifixion every year, right in our own back yard!

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