Archive for GR20

a journal of the plague and pestilence year

Posted in Books, Kids, Mountains, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2022 by xi'an

Hard to concentrate on anything while a European capital is besieged and shelled by Russia… The second horseman of the apocalypse (representing War) has joined the first one (called Pestilence).

Read the hiking story, L’île-montagne, written by Gilles Modica on his n-th traverse of Corsica, from South to North, of the mythical GR20 hiking trail. A gift from Florence at my p-th birthday party, after she spotted my blog entry on my few hours on that trail… While the author does not appear there as a particularly sympathique personnage, with a common form of mountaineering elitism, the call of the mountains and the intrinsic and wild beauty of the trail is undeniable. Renewing my desire to hike more of it. And the story is full of fascinating historical tidbits. As with so many mountain books, it reads better with a detailed map at one’s side, unless one is already familiar with every rock and every cow on the GR20. (There is a map at the start, but partial maps on the margin would have been more helpful. Esp. for a top quality editor like Guérin.) I also went quickly through two volumes of Arnaldur Indriðason‘s Inspector Konrad new trilogy, The Darkness knows and The Girl by the Bridge, in their French translation. Ending up rather disappointed with a feeling of déjà vu. For the first one, the themes of Indriðason are there (impact of the second World War, poverty, domestic violence, childhood memories, icefields). With the added annoyance of seeing the same events reported twice within a few pages. For the second, it brought back the memory of walking in the downtown Reykjavik cemetery, a few years ago, in less dramatic circumstances, but otherwise, I found the scenario rather lazy and the resolution predictable. With an added touch of supernatural, which I do not appreciate at all outside fantasy books!

Watched All of Us Are Dead, a (of course!) Korean zombie series.  At first as a way to temporarily escape the anxiogenic influx of horrific news from Ukraine with a brainless diversion… Despite my general reluctance for zombie movies. And then for the powerful satire behind the story! The construction of the network of the few teenagers escaping their former colleagues indeed proves rather efficient, with the characters growing into several dimensions, if the scenario is overly stretched, and too prompt to sacrificing a member of the group when tension goes down. Incl. some most unexpectedly, scenario-wise… But it remains biting, humorous, moving at times, full of references to the Korean zombie culture (incl. many to Last train for Busan) and the shortcomings of a competitive and inegalitarian society…

GR²⁰ [at last!]

Posted in Kids, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2021 by xi'an

On the last day of our vacations in Corsica, we hiked a little bit of the mythical GR20, a hiking trail that crosses Corsica from North-West (Calenzana) to South-East (Conca), with fabulous landscapes and difficult paths. I had bought the guide book for this trail in the late 70’s, hoping for a completion in the subsequent years, but this was actually my very first hike on it!

The hike to the Lavu di Nino from Poppaghia was not particularly difficult, with only a short section involving minor scrambling and a 700m climb over 5 kilometers, arriving at the nice lake with its pozzine ponds and free ranging cows and horses, under the noon sun.

From there, the prospect of climbing down the abrupt section was somewhat daunting, so my wife and daughter continued on the GR20 instead, going up an extra 100m and then down 500m over 10km of so.

During our break at the lake, an civil defence helicopter made a landing nearby, presumably to rescue a hiker injured on the trail or incapacitated by the unreasonable heat. Since our car was parked at the beginning of our hike, I ran down back there, drove to the junction with the GR20, and ran up to meet with my daughter, then my wife, after two hours, only to turn back and return to the car with them.This was a very enjoyable conclusion to our trip, with great views and spectacular trees in the forested parts. Making me hope I could return under more clement weather, eg in winter!

%d bloggers like this: