GR20 - 2013 - Getting there

Sep 02, 2013

Getting There

This was the second time I'd made the trip to Calenzana and each time it worked without a hitch, I left the UK around tea-time, stayed overnight in Marseilles and arrived at the start of the walk late the next morning. I completed 'Day 1' the same day so I effectively didn't waste any time travelling - I could have finished work early one day and was on Day 1 of the route the next.

Wednesday 11th September

Left home at 13.00 heading for Newcastle airport where I boarded the 16.50 Easyjet flight to Schipol. I had 1hr 40 mins to catch my connection at Schipol, which sounds a lot but Schipol is a big airport and sometimes you have to go through the baggage search again, and if your first flight is late etc...

In order to maximise my transfer time I managed to get all my gear as hand luggage on the Easyjet flight, this wasn't easy, but with me using an Airbeam frame on the rucksack I could reduce the length of the bag to below the cabin restriction. I purposely left prohibited items at home, eg penknife etc.. Trekking Poles are a key item, they need to be short pack size so they can be buried inside the rucksack - which I did and they were allowed on the flight.

My flight landed at Schipol an time and it took me an hour to get to my next one, the Air France service at 20.30 to Marseilles. This flight was also on time and landed at Marseilles at 22.10. I'd booked the Holiday Inn which sent a minibus to pick me up. By 22.40 I was at the hotel having just missed any food service, I was in bed by 23.00.

Thursday 12th September

I'd set my alarm for 06.15 (05.15 in the UK), shower, dressed, breakfast and on the 07.20 shuttle bus back to the airport. The flight to Calvi from Marseilles is via a small turbo prop plane, so baggage had to go in the hold. We took off at 9.00am and landed in Calvi on time at 9.55am. I shared a taxi to Calenzana with a french guy who was also doing the GR20, he was carrying about twice what I was. My share of the taxi fare was 20 euros and I got dropped off at the Spar shop.

I was able to get the gas, food and a few other items I needed and I repacked my rucksack. at 11.20am I wondered into Calenzana to start the walk.

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