The day was upon us to set off into the wilderness and start the GR20 trek. The inital path finding out of Calenzana was pretty straight forward and we started to rise up away from the coast and as Corsica is a very mountainous island and we were about to cross it I thought upwards would be the agenda for the day and got myself used to the idea.

My legs did not enjoy this shrubby landscape!


The shrubby forested paths we were walking through soon opened out and we could see great valleys below the beautiful blue sky. The path was very walkable however me with my bloody sunburnt legs didn’t find it much fun with the odd branch and leaves scraping against them reminding me of my mistake the previous day. Cheers! We passed a few groups and the politeness between everyone was great with welcomes and smiles all the way. Everyone was there for the same reason and everyone was wanting to enjoy the trip! When the path finally levelled out after a few hours walking, we decided to take a rest and look at the scenery. This is where we first met the infamous stick man.

A shaggy fella with dark long hair and a beard. A tilley hat and glasses masked his face making him even more mysterious. Who was this guy? Why was he so happy? Was he alone? All these questions added to the mystery. I am glad I didn’t get a picture of the guy as the image you create of him is probably right. As I have worked in various outdoor shops I always find the need to look someone up and down and check out all of the kit. Really quite a sad thing to do but hey, tends to be a good indicator on whether someone does a lot of active things or if it is a new thing and they have all brand new gear. Stick man was about as rustic as they come and so I thought it was safe to say hello!

‘Grunt.’ Who is this guy? Is he a human? Can he speak? The wonders of the guy just kept coming, after a short while I think I made out a French phrase, safe to say the conclusion I came to was he was French and so gave him what a ‘B’ GCSE in France gave me, ‘Salut cava.’ Oh no, it looked like I did the wrong thing. Stick man now believes I am French and starts to speak long sentences.. what to do.. ahh yeah I am English if I speak English loudly to him maybe he’ll understand seems to have been working for centuries so here it goes; ‘I AM ENGLISH.’ A grunt reply was good enough for me. This place was the perfect photo opportunity so I asked stick man whether he care do the honours of taking a picture. Obviously the language barrier had defeated us all so getting a camera out and smiling and pointing to all of us seemed to of worked. We managed to get a few good snaps before deciding to head on.

Stick man, explorer/photographer. What can he not do!


Hark! Hark! Two full paragraphs without mentioning why he is called stick man. More fool me. With my review of kit I noticed he didn’t have any walking poles. The GR20 is quite notorious for being quite up and down; come to think of it, every bloody trek I have done has been notorious for being very up and down. Seems easy treks don’t exist and if they do I want to know about it. Instead of a walking pole stick man had a staff. I will call it a staff as it was larger than a stick and don’t want to be seen as abusing the size of his instrument.

We carried on walking for a few hours turning our back on stick man wondering what a crazy fool he was and wanting to know whether he was a secret superhero or what. This spurred us on to walk quickly and the day was starting to cloud on. Surely a blue sky in the morning cannot make a rubbish afternoon. We consulted the book we were following and it said that Corsica was prone to thunderstorms. CRASH, BOOM. Ahhh nuts… we all thought the rain is gonna… yeah I am getting wet. Really wet, this is a downpour. I have lost the others who are walking ahead. I am alone, the path is treacherous and I have no rainjacket on and no shelter, the chances of survival being very slim.. what to do, I carry on walking for a bit trying to find cover and secretly enjoying the power of the weather. Could anyone save me? Whats this.. a shady figure in the bushes.. in any other situation I would be worried however a part of me wishes it to be him.. the figure gets nearer and nearer who is it.. can they help me?

Hark. A storm is brewing!


Find out tomorrow in: The stick is wet, the crack is our saviour.

Advertisements