They stayed at the most luxurious hotel this world has to offer – under all of the stars!
“Canyoning is a sport that mixes adrenaline and natural beauty in equal measure. Trekking through gorges, waterfalls and giant rock pools, canyoning lets you get waist deep in nature and experience it in a brand new way.”
When he asked me if I wanted to go on vacation together to Corsica for canyoning, I said yes without blinking. Then came the “wtf?” part trying to pin Corsica on the map and trying to remember whether I knew what canyoning was about in the first place. Took me a few moments to figure out the first question and had to ask google for the rest. I’m not sure whether it was anxiety that hit first, but some part of my body was getting shivers. And excitement! It was meant to be a vacation with minimal baggage and maximal experience. Two weeks on the island with people we have not met before, sleeping under the stars, canyoning, trekking and cooking our own food.
When we bragged about our oncoming vacation to friends, many have carefully whispered it may turn out a big test to our relationship. I would not be fair if I said I hadn’t thought about it. But the decision was made and we both were so looking forward to the ride!
We chose to fly to Bergamo airport, where our co-travelers picked us up with a minivan and off we went to Genoa to catch a ferry to the island. And that’s where we got our christening of sleeping under the stars – laying our sleeping bags on the deck. At that point I was still wondering how it’s all gonna turn out. Those thoughts were gone in a blink of an eye as soon as we stepped on the French soil and off we went for out first canyoning experience.
Getting used to comforts of the nature took a day or two. Well first of all, stepping off the plane in a long dress, a Panama hat and sandals, caused some excitement and laughter among our co-travelers. I’m almost positive their first thoughts were “Where is this “princess” thinking she’s going?”. And then our first stop in the mountains – I went straight to the supervisor of the parking, asking “Où sont les toilettes?”. He looked at me puzzled, laughed and stretching out his arms (almost) shouted – “La nature!”. With another check of the phone, that there is almost no coverage, I thought this IS going to be the best vacation of my life and then it really began.
Canyoning gave me the sense I can’t truly describe. Despite the fact that I never overcame my fear of jumping in the water and always chose to slide down the rope, I felt the sense of freedom and blending in with nature I’ve never felt before. Canyoning gave me excitement, adrenaline and a healthy dose of fear. The most dear feeling – trusting my Man with anything 120%! He kept me safe, warm and happy. And then I really understood – the two of us could do anything together (Honey, I promise I will jump one day ♥)!
Almost every night we slept at different places with very few exceptions, when we stayed for another night at the same location. Trying to stay warm and dry in the mountains when the dew was breaking out at dawn, being lulled to sleep at the sound of the waves down at the beach, chasing off mosquitoes by the lake and yet mesmerized by the view of mirror surface of the water early in the morning – these are the things I remember.
Corsica is an island that has a lot to offer – different beaches, mountains and lakes, a number of gorgeous little towns when in need of a taste of more civilization – from Bastia in north when getting off the ferry, to Bonifacio in the south and many stops in between – Porto Vecchio, Propriano, Ajaccio, Calvi on the coast, Zonza and a number of small villages I don’t even recall inland.
Days went by and at some point I realized – you are who you choose to be. I instinctively chose to be happy and soak in every moment. That feeling of being where you belong at that moment was truly precious. It was our first time travelling with strangers. We had an amazing time with our group, being drawn in by each other’s differences rather than annoyed or outcast, listening to different life stories in the evenings, respecting each others boundaries that needed no verbal explanation. Knowing you can rely on someone you barely know when standing on the edge of the cliff is indescribable.
Now when I dwell on the experience, I have mixed feelings – on one hand, there is the desire to go back again, on the other – I want to keep those precious memories and remember Corsica as the place where I was wild, free and so damn happy!