Tag Archive: Corsica

Love has a recipe

Stirring, Corsica, France

by Mike

Azure fell in love with a Corsican cheese, a cheese that doesn’t travel well. We were leaving in a couple days and she might never again see or taste the enchanting, goaty brocciu. Azure was sad, so I had to do something.

We asked a young man at the market if he knew a brocciu maker who might teach us to make the cheese. He told us to ask the widows who sit on the steps of the mayor’s office.

We rode our scooter to the mayor’s office and asked the old ladies where to find a brocciu maker. In the next village over, they said, lived a woman who made it for years.

We rode our scooter over the ridge and asked a man where Mme Albertini lived. She was his aunt, in fact, and she lived at the edge of town.

We found the woman, but she no longer made cheese – the process is too intense. Her cousin in the next village over, though, still made it.

We found the village and found his barn and Philippe was inside, milking the goats.

“Please,” we said, “Azure loves brocciu and needs to learn to make it herself.”

He looked at her and smiled: if we returned the next afternoon he would happily teach us everything. The next day, alongside his wife and daughter, he patiently taught us the generations-old recipe.

All we had to do was ask.

This post has been entered into the Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition.

A Jungle of Force

Corsican market women, Corsica, France
The poor old rich days…

by Mike

There is a mysterious person in traditional Corsican towns, a man or woman kept at the periphery of society because they play a supernatural role in death. At night, this Mazzeri is compelled to sneak into the maquis, the low shrubbery that blankets wild parts of the island, and to hunt down whatever animal comes across their path. The boar or dog meets a violent death – the Mazzeri bludgeons it with a club or a rock, it might strangle the animal or tear its flesh with their teeth. (Read More)

Bonifascinating!

Cliff dwellers, Bonifacio, Corsica, France

Azure and I agreed that Bonifacio is one of the most spectacular cities we’ve visited – it’s built on a cliff that’s surrounded by water on 3.5 sides and it’s pretty much waiting to fall into the water, as you can see above. From Bonifacio you can see Sardegna, Corsica’s Italian sister to the South. Bonifacio is hundreds of years old, of course, and somewhere up here was found one of the oldest inhabitants of Corsica, a woman whose grave was dated to ~9000 years ago.

We found the town itself to be one of those annoying seasonal towns that’s a shell in the off-season, so there’s nothing to do, nothing that sustains people. Tourism keeps em going the rest of the year, of course, so when we were walking around the town our interactions felt uncomfortably artificial. We were much happier in Sartene where there was a university and some commerce and free wifi only half an hour away.

Magic in the Maquis

IMG_8112
IMG_8038
IMG_8108
IMG_8081

by Mike

Philippe’s grandfather was found dead in the Maquis with his back against a tree and his rifle across his lap. Philippe sat in the position to show us as he retold the story, holding his arms to his chest as if clutching a rifle. “The Gestappo – the Italian police, you know? – they were in the Maquis on a full moon night and saw the light shine on the barrel. When they found him he was dead. Heart attack at 46.”

Philippe shares his grandfather’s passion for guns and hunting, as many men do on this island. A common scene was the Hunter’s Bar in Ota: a bunch of men sat drinking Pastis and looking at guns on a computer or in magazines. They wore camouflage jackets and hats and there were boar’s heads and stuffed birds on the walls. They poured more Pastis and played cards and other hunters came and went, everyone greeting everyone else.

I asked Philippe if he hunts with dogs and he said he doesn’t, he prefers to hunt at night. “Wow, that’s intense,” I said.

In the book we’re reading about Corsica (Granite Island by Dorothy Carrington) there’s a chapter about other night hunters, the Mazzeri. The Mazzeri were improperly baptized individuals who lived in the villages but apart from the people. They had the gift, though, of foretelling death. At night they’d hunt in the fragrant Maquis and kill the first animal that came along – a dog or a boar or whatever. Then they’d roll it onto its back, look in the face and recognize somebody from the area. In the morning they announced the news that the person they saw would die within a year.

Carrington writes that the Mazzeri didn’t actually cause the deaths, rather they interpreted what was sent to them. They were compelled to go into the Maquis to hunt just as the animal was compelled to cross their path. It was Destiny, and their only part was to read it. But she writes that night hunting becomes addictive for some Mazzeri, despite their reluctance to read more deaths.

The closer you look at the tradition of the Mazzeri, the further back you look “into the night of time,” further back even than the megalith builders who inhabited the island thousands of years ago, whose works you can still see and touch, faces carved into upright, human-sized stones. The Mazzeri reflect a people grappling with the basic human activities of hunting and dying at the dawn of cognizance.

When I asked Father Joseph if the megaliths were interesting to visit, I was kinda annoyed by his answer, “Well, they’re ok if you’re interested in rocks and old stuff.” But now that I better understand the historical context I can see why he answered that way. The megaliths (“rocks and old stuff”) were symbols for the beliefs and traditions that Christianity struggled for a thousand years to dislodge. The megalith builders were active on the island since 3000 B.C., while the traditional customs & beliefs lasted from the dawn of cognizance deep into Christianity’s crusade – even up until the Second World War Corsica remained an island writhing in the coils of busy myths. By contrast, Christianity has only been here since about 500 A.D. That means that in the year 3509 A.D, it will still be another 2000 years before Christian beliefs will have been on this island as long as the megalith builder beliefs have been here to now.

A couple weeks ago I wrote to you about touching the stones that ancient people touched and trying to imagine what compelled them to build. I wrote that I hoped “my mind would be refilled with the mind that built those walls” and maybe I’d tap into something fundamental to the human experience that I’m missing now. Only I failed to connect. Obviously I don’t believe I can conjure the minds of the past, I don’t believe in that. But I’m starting to realize that a fundamental piece of human experience that I’m missing is the very instrument that allowed people to communicate with their ancestors – magic.

The disappearance of magic is a symptom of the changed pace of the world. I think that the key to understanding another person’s experience is living the rhythm of their life, and to understand the wall builders I’d have to quit using a car and stop working a job and extract the internet from my body and ignore the media. It would mean living with the seasons and working with my body and living a shorter life but maybe living in constant wonder.

Philippe, stroking the barrel of his gun, said, “This is my dream, realized. I wanted my life to be hunting, guns, motorcycles, cheese, goats.” He didn’t mention his wife and daughter in the next room. “And now I have it.”

We left his house late at night and as we rode home I thought about what it would be like going into the Maquis with a rifle and just sitting and waiting and listening. I thought about what I would feel if I sat still for a night, and what I’d hear if I didn’t talk, and what I’d see if there were no lights, and what I’d sense if time and rhythm slowed to heartbeat and breath. I wondered if Philippe was addicted to night hunting like the Mazzeri and if I could be too.

The scooter pulled through the night to the crest of the hill and from a height that felt like floating, we looked down the spine of Corsica. There were a few towns hidden in folds facing the sea. It felt mythical at that time, and the next night we went back to the same spot to take pictures. I thought about my own dream realized, honestly: traveling with Azure by motorcycle (the scooter has done fine) with a camera and my journal, trying to learn the rhythm of other people’s lives.

Brocciu

by Azure (The one who loves Brocciu)

Let’s start here…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBiUt7dtfGw&hl=en&fs=1]

This story actually starts a long time ago on our fourth day on Corsica. We would go to the little market next to the Convent when we were staying in the convent. The woman there had a basket of treats, little doughnut holes filled with cheese. She would give one to me every time we went in. One day, there were pots of cheese sitting out on the table. The woman told us that the cheese was what was in the doughnuts. Underestimating my powers of cheese consumption, we asked the other client if she would split one with us. She said yes, we got a half pot of cheese and my world has never been the same since.

These are some early photos of Brocciu

IMG_3365
IMG_3355IMG_3368

After finishing the pot in less than a day, I set my sights on finding a supplier in the Seattle area. How little I knew back then. I called it cheese and wondered who imported it. I stuck my mom with the task, since she can find anything anywhere at anytime. But, to my horror, she emailed me only a link to what brocciu is. There was a link to buy it, but of course it came up empty.

No worries at this point as we saw brocciu product abound up and down the coast. There were the doughnuts at the street markets and in every specialty store. Brocciu pots were available at any supermarket or corner shop. No problems. Not until we got north to Ota that I started to sense a lacking. Sometimes the markets were sold out of pots and often times you didn’t see any doughnuts in baskets. I started thinking about a life without brocciu.

IMG_5572
IMG_5576IMG_3508

But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself here. What exactly is brocciu and why is it so amazing. Well, it is a light cream product, apparently you can’t call it cheese, it is not referred to as cheese. It is apparently lactose free and, in the state that I love, fresh. It cannot be imported, since it must be eaten in 3-4 days. It goes well with sweet things and is most often used in deserts. It tastes like…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luvwTCo1iT8&hl=en&fs=1]

So when Mike and I arrived on Cap Corse (the very top of the island) for the last leg of our journey, I was starting to think only of how to learn how to make brocciu. The Cap ended up being a barren place. It was dramatic, which Mike loved, steep and wild and the winds were so strong that we were told you couldn’t grow crops because the wind takes all the moisture away. We would drive for miles and miles and see no sign of anything except the Maquis.

When we arrived at our hotel in the Community of Centuri, we headed to town to get some groceries. We had 4 days left on the island and as we sat in the harbor having a snack of brocciu, myrte jam and bread, I told Mike that I wanted to get going south again. He was saddened by this idea because he loved the Cap the most of all the places on Corsica. I told him, I have to go south, I must find out how to make brocciu.

IMG_7897
IMG_7899

At that very instant, he got up and walked in to the small market on the pier. I didn’t know what he was doing, but when we came out he said, we must ask in the town how to make brocciu. The journey had begun.

There was no one in town at that point, so we decided to go on a drive up the hill to the next town. Orche it was called, but it was so small that we didn’t even know where we were. On the one main street that stretched an entire half block, 5 old ladies stood outside the mayors office. We stopped the scooter and got off. One last reality check happened when Mike said to me, is this weird? I said I don’t know, is it? Probably, he said. But we both walked over to the women without saying another word.

IMG_4247

“Hello, do you know anyone who has sheep?” he asked.
The women just looked at him for a moment.
“I’m sorry, I have a strange question. We are trying to learn how to make the cheese, brocciu and I was wondering if you knew anyone who knows how.”
At this the women started to laugh, but of course they know someone. “You go up the road to the next town. Ask for Madame Alberitini.”
“How many minutes is it? How will we find her?” Mike asked.
“Oh not far, just ask for her in the town.”
“Thank you”

IMG_4254

We drove on, up the hill to Ersa. We drove through Ersa without seeing a sign of life anywhere. Outside the town somewhere we saw two men by the side of the road. “We are looking for Madame Albertini,” Mike said.
“Which one, there are many.” Of course in these towns the families stay close to home. We have learned this about Corsican villages. The town cemeteries are filled with three or four names only.
“Maybe she makes sheep’s cheese,” Mike replied.
“Ah yes, go back into town. When you see the big hotel on your right, her house is the next on your left.”
“Thank you.”

We drove back into town and parked in front of the home across the street from hotel. We walked up the narrow passage between the home and the wall and into a dark alleyway. In front of us was an open door and a man inside, probably 70 years old funneling wet cheese into containers. “Are you making brocciu?” we asked.
“No,” he said, “My wife makes the brocciu. It is very difficult. I don’t know how.”
“We are looking for Madame Albertini, is that your wife?”
“Yes, how did you know to ask here?”
“Some women near Centuri told us to come here. We want to learn how to make brocciu.”
“My wife does not make it everyday, but when she does, she starts at 5 in the morning.”
“Will she make it tomorrow?” we asked.
“I don’t think so, but ask my cousin. He lives one town over.”
“How will we find him?” we asked.
“You drive up the road, you will come to a fork, do not go toward town, take the other road. You will come to a fountain, across from the fountain, there will be a barn. He will be in the barn.”
“And what is his name?” we asked.
“Philippe Albertini.”
“And yours?”
“Roger.”
“Thank you, Roger”

It was getting late, maybe 5:30pm and the sun had set over the crest of the hill. I doubted that Philippe would be at the barn so late, but we had come so far, we had to keep looking.

At first we took the wrong fork, backtracked and found the fountain. Across from it was a barn and we parked the scooter and walked to the barn. Mike knocked on the glass and waved when he saw life inside. A man came to the door wearing among other things, a camo hat and combat boots. He had thick black eyebrows and was not a man that you would mess with.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezSZDEVtOag&hl=en&fs=1]

Inside the barn there were probably 50 goats. We asked about the brocciu and the brebis (sheep). He asked if I had sheep and I said no. I have 2 goats, but they are both men, so no goat milk either. He was confused. We were confused. We kept asking about sheep and he kept asking about things we didn’t understand. After 10 minutes of yelling above the noises of goats being milked, we were told to come back at 3pm the next day to watch him make the brocciu. More directions, this time ones we didn’t have confidence in, so he offered to take us there that night to show us how to get there at least…

Philippe speaks in sentence fragments. He talks loud and says things we don’t understand. When we were following his car, I asked Mike if we were doing something that night. Were we making cheese with him. Mike said, he would not be surprised if we made cheese, nor would he be surprised if we didn’t. No one could say what Philippe had been talking about. All we knew is that we were following him to a place we would return the next day to make cheese.

As it turned out, we did make cheese that night. It was pitch black by this point, but we were at ground zero for goat cheese production and we weren’t leaving until he kicked us out. Mike took photos, I giggled a lot. It was a good time. We rode back in darkness. It was calm at least and a peaceful ride over the pass.

The next afternoon we drove the 30 minute ride to Philippe’s house, which was also where he made the cheese and brocciu. When we got there, he and his wife had a pot already going. Monique was much easier to understand. She was patient with us and answered questions directly. She was really understanding and interesting. We liked he a lot and got a lot of what we know about cheese making and brocciu from her even though the cheese blood is in Philippe’s family. He has been doing this since he was 16 years old.

IMG_7695
IMG_7664IMG_7678
IMG_7641

After two hours of stirring, measuring the temperature, waiting, and stirring some more, the brocciu “arrived.” They said it would smell like cake right before it was ready and it did. It was sweet and floated to the surface for the picking. Philippe skimmed the top and plucked the brocciu out of the “petite lait.” He put them in the little tubs and I got to eat one hot out of the pot. It was heaven.

IMG_7767
IMG_7743IMG_7782

When we had finished making the brocciu, he invited us into his house for coffee and more brocciu. Ok, you’ll have to imagine this, since I didn’t want to photograph inside his house much…you put brocciu in a bowl and pour hot coffee and sugar on it. OMG. Mike was poured a taste of some Myrte liquor from the maquis, which is now our new obsession and shown Philippe’s display of guns. He took us out to another shed and we got some other surprises.

IMG_7868

When we got on the scooter to go home, it was 8:30 at night. It was black out and the wind was strong. When we drove over the pass, the wind would move the scooter around like it was paper. It took us 55 minutes to drive what took us 30 minutes during the day. Mike rode with his feet touching the pavement the whole time and I learned how much I truly trust him. It might have been my best day on the island because I can now go away knowing that I can find brocciu again even if I have to make it myself.

Gun love, the story of a Corsican man

IMG_7852
IMG_7860
IMG_7858
IMG_7847
IMG_7854

by Mike

Philippe said, “This is a dream, realized.” He was referring to his life. There were five things: “Hunting, guns, motorcycles, cheese, goats.” That was his dream, and he achieved it without the help of The Secret.

I asked if he used dogs for boar hunting and he said he doesn’t – he prefers to hunt quietly at night.

“That’s intense,” I said.

Old cars in Orche, Corsica

by Mike

In a random little town on Cap Corse there was a random little street whose trees had blue & white Christmas lights. Under the trees were a few old cars and every night we drove by we thought, “we’ve got to take pictures of this.” We finally did last night, here are the results:

IMG_8123
IMG_8146
IMG_8128
IMG_8148
IMG_8159
That last one was a new technique – I took a long exposure and at the same time zoomed out. Voila.

IMG_8131

A hike in the Maquis

IMG_4038
IMG_4022IMG_4037
IMG_7324IMG_7297
IMG_7121
IMG_7124
IMG_7118

Today’s Route

by Mike

I saw on the map that there are some dolmens around here. Dolmens are ancient rocks carved or constructed or something. When I asked the guy at our hotel about them he said that the site was still being processed (the media is intense for a small island, so every subject is well-covered) so there’s no signs and no roads to get there.

At the place closest to where we thought the dolmens were Azure saw a dirt road that went under the highway, so we pulled off the road and parked by an empty beach and walked it. There’s this shrubbery all over the island called “Maquis.” It’s a combination of 7 or 8 different plants that kinda go wherever nothing else is. It’s fragrant, very distinct and subtle. It’s the scent Napoleon talked about on his death bed. We walked the road up a ridge through the Maquis, trying to get a bearing on where the dolmen might be. No luck up the first ridge.

There was another road that lead around another side of the mountain. We hiked high on this one, up until the road ended and the Maquis closed in and the only tracks on the ground were sheep tracks. And even those started disappearing until we weren’t on a trail anymore.

Even if we didn’t find a dolmen, we satisfied my curiosity about walking through the Maquis. From the top it looks like a very even green carpet on the mountains. One of the bushes is rosemary, which is in bloom right now. The flowers are violet, so in the pictures above you can see Azure walking through a whole acre of blooming rosemary.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOLAbaxItqY&hl=en&fs=1]

Photos of Mike

by Azure

I know it seems like we didn’t do a lot today, but we did. We drove all the way from our gite in Ota up to the north coast. We stopped in Calvi for lunch and found a place in Ile Rousse that we really like. We walked through the city and climbed up to the old tower. But in between, we took hundreds of photos of each other. Mike had more opportunities because I fell asleep on his lap on the boardwalk (Susan and Arnie, I almost have enough material for the calendar next year)(everyone else, Mike’s parents made a calendar of family members sleeping–Arnie and I made up the majority of the calendar).

Mike is hard to capture on film. When I try to take pictures of him, he gets really tense and either looks extremely militant or makes a really fake smile (see below)
Mike in the Green Parrot

or will have his eyes closed or something else equally unflattering…
IMG_3987

I have taken some good ones of him throughout the trip though. I have learned that he sometimes looks normal if he is doing something else, or I can catch him off guard, or if he does his fake smile and I tease him (tub shot).
IMG_6188
IMG_5548IMG_5025
IMG_4008IMG_3173
IMG_2877

The side view has typically been the best for him, since he doesn’t have to look at the camera, but today I figured out a new trick. Get him talking about the things he likes best — scooters, riding scooters, Katie (the beagle next door to us in Seattle).
IMG_7032
IMG_7029IMG_7060

And of course, his all time favorite topic of the trip. You can’t tame it, but you can capture him saying it.
IMG_7073

the H-A-W-K!

It's so Beautiful!

IMG_6048
IMG_5929

by Azure

We had intended to spend Wednesday night in a town called Cargese. Mike had picked it out on a map for it’s proximity to the sea and we headed there as soon as we could leave Ajaccio. We stopped in Cargese around 2pm when the lunch hours were finishing up, but the town was still shut down. We had only been riding an hour or so and though it was raining, we decided to keep moving north to make more ground on the island. We were unimpressed by the town. Quaint towns on ports or beaches are a dime a dozen on this island and there was nothing in particular about the place that made us want to put in the necessary effort of finding a room in one of hotels whose signs say OPEN ALL YEAR but whose closed shutters and absence of light say otherwise.

We ended up spending Wednesday night in a town called Porto near the sea. Mike remembers Porto from his first visit because people told him how beautiful it was. Corsica has taught us that the word “beautiful” means different things to different people. Everyone has a place on the island that is the “most beautiful” and no two people recommend the same place. Saying something is beautiful does not relate information. If someone had told us that on the drive from Cargese to Porto you will see men walking their black and tan cows with little calves trotting beside down the center of the road; or that you will drive for miles and miles into rolling mountains that you don’t believe have ever known the tread of a single human, only to be confronted with the meager stone remains of an ancient migrant way of life perched on ridges and in valleys; or that from these huge tree-covered peaks, you will descend, without warning towards the bright blue Mediterranean and be greeted by red rock cliffs that run right out of the sea– if someone had told us those things, I may have understood what “beauty” they were talking about.

As is, I guess I am glad people hadn’t gone into detail. The surprises we felt turning each corner and the joy we felt for each discovery made the rainy ride emotional and captivating. We have seen every kind of natural beauty on this island, but that drive once again surprised us. It brought us both to tears with its drama and its ability to put one in their place in how the natural world should value a single human existence. Those cliffs don’t feel us riding on their high ledges or through their amber tunnels. Their age is only magnified by the human reminders built into their walls. There are the red stone bridges and support systems, holding up the current day road, probably laid there by workers 60 years ago, there are the ruins of homes and stone fences which housed the families of the people who tended their herds 200 years ago, and there are the caves that provided shelter to the early Corsicans when they were being attacked time and time again from all sides as far back as 400AD. These cliffs are much much older.

Tuesday, Mike and I went on a tour of the area to the north, despite the dark clouds. At times it was calm, other times the wind almost blew our tiny scooter off the winding cliffs into the sea. It rained, it hailed, and finally, the clouds broke to allow the slim daggers of light to slice lines and cut holes in the sea and the hills alike. We wound along the side of the “maquised” hills all day, never losing sight of the sea for any length of time. We stopped often to take pictures, hoping to capture the true mood of the day, but in my opinion, always failed. My frustration lies in that no matter how hard we work, how much we write or how many photos we take, we can never take an accurate photo of our lives.

All caught up. All gassed up.

IMG_3268

by Azure

We are finally caught up with the blog. When we were on the olive farm, we were without internet the whole time and it was an hour drive into the city to post. We worked until 5pm most days and it was too long and cold and dark to drive to Nice after work, so we just got bottled up there. We finally learned that we could post without being there by scheduling them, but that was also difficult, since we still had to drive down and post every few days. Long story short, we got a week behind, so all of the posts happened exactly one week before they were posted. And, now that we are LIVE, we are once again heading to a place we fear has no internet. Cargese and Serriera, where we are aiming to stay, are barely bold on the map. Where we are, a medium sized town has about 40 residents. A small town is marked on the map, but we have found that can just mean a collection of 3 or 4 families living near each other. Anyway, we are headed out this morning. We got an email that there was gas now and that we should take advantage, so Mike rushed to the pumps. We are full and ready to go back into the wild lands. Wish us luck.

A Hawk's Day

IMG_4858
IMG_3421

by Azure

Before we met with Claude for the first time in Nice, Mike turned to me and promised that he would be on his best behavior, but he couldn’t speak for the hawk. He was the only farmer in the valley with a mohawk and his favorite saying is “You can’t tame it, you can’t tame a hawk.” In French, his favorite topic is something to do with rabbit’s milk cheese. On the first day at lunch he mentioned it to Margarite and Claude. Do you milk the rabbits, he asked. I think they thought he was more city than they could handle until they realized he was joking. A week later, when Margarite looked puzzled with another of his comments, Claude said to her, don’t you know he could be joking at any time.

This blog is a funny thing. It captures bits and pieces of our day that make us think or change, but the majority of our time is spent on things far less serious. Today, we walked around and sat in a hotel. What do you write about on a day that you sit in a hotel? We usually don’t write anything about that.

At the farm, there were a lot of animals to play with. There was a goat that would butt your knee whenever you went in to the pen. I would find excuses to go in so he would play with my knee. Another kid would always jump up and try to eat my sweatshirt. It was cute. I spent a lot of time with goats on or at me.

There was one night when we were out taking night photography in Margaret’s garden. We saw that a rabbit had escaped, but was hanging around the pen because he wanted to be with his friends, but still wanted freedom to roam in the garden. When we told Margarite, she insisted that we spend about an hour chasing the rabbit around, trying to get him back in the pen. Four people trying to herd a rabbit is not enough BTW. We had to try again later and still failed. The rabbit finally chose to go back in on its own.

There is a guy, Marciel, who we were never able to fit into any of the stories about the farm. He was the guy who lived next door and worked for them. He wore a Chicago hat everyday and I think he must have had a stash of beer in the back of Margarite’s kitchen because he would walk in and grab one every evening. He would stand in the kitchen and talk so unfiltered with her. He would get really animated with her and Claude and use words like “Putain” in regular conversation, which translated means “whore.” I am still not sure what the conversations were about.

And then there is all the time we spend riding. Everyday we are not working, we go for a long ride. If our trip was a pie graph, 40% would probably be riding. There’s never much to say about it. It’s always beautiful and always fun, but it’s more of a picture than a post. Or in our case 4,560 pictures. It has gotten to the point where we’ll see a beautiful hill town or an ancient cemetery or some cows roaming free on the road and we won’t even stop. A dime a dozen!

We spend an unusually large amount of time talking about, or if we are stopped, talking to animals. There are so many here and they are still fun to see. There are so many dogs, just running along the road, miles from any town. So many sheep grazing sometimes in front of you and so many cows and horses that just look at you.

And of course we talk about the blog a lot. We read and edit each others posts and make comments. We write almost every night in some capacity. It got out of hand one night in Nice when I had to lie to one of the Austrian girls. I told her that we were going home to have sex, so I didn’t have to nerd out and tell her that we were actually going home early to edit a post.

Oh and then there are the internet cafes. We spend about an hour in a cafe each day uploading things and doing whatever. When we were staying in Sartene, going to the internet required driving to the next town where we would always go to the same bar. The guy who works there got so familiar with Mike that he gave him his email address and phone number without Mike even asking. He’d give us free drinks too, since we are in there everyday.

I don’t know what this post is about. But, I do know that sometimes this blog gets thick and when I read back through, it doesn’t capture the times when life is just going. I think this trip is one of the most interesting we’ve ever taken, but I just wanted to talk a little about the normal life between the posts.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R9M4asxDlQ&hl=en&fs=1]

How to get over a really bad day.

Bad day, good tub.

Nique le Budget!
by Azure

We went to bed hoping to go north in the morning. When I woke up it was still raining, so I didn’t even bother waking Mike up. It is a long ride to the north and doing it in the rain is really out of the question. We thought, judging from our experiences on the west side of the island that there had to be a blue sky day soon to come. We walked into town and checked the weather at the information office. Rain rain rain! Three days of rain. But wait – there’s more!