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Friday, June 18, 2010

Scandola Nature Reserve

I woke up early to take a boat excursion to the Scandola Nature Reserve up the west coast from Ajaccio. When we first set out, I was second guessing myself again. Why didn't I go yesterday when the weather was better? This morning, the sky is gray. At least I remembered a coat, a hat, and good sunscreen.

It's obvious that I don't normally live near the sea; otherwise, I might understand the variable weather conditions. It wasn't too long before the sun peeked through and the beauties of the Scandola Nature Reserve started to reveal themselves. Scandola is part of the Corsican National Park system and a World Heritage Site. It was created through the process of several volcanic eruptions over the last 50 to 150 million years. Here are just a few of the 120 photos I took today:

The waters are protected too. There is no fishing or diving allowed, and this water is much deeper than it looks.

We stopped for lunch in a tiny village called Girolata.

Here's a reminder that small babies needn't hamper your travel plans. This little 4 month old and her mother were having a wonderful time.

The only way to get to Girolata is by boat - unless you want to hike 7 km to the nearest road. This trail is called "La Route du Facteur" because that's how the mail carrier (facteur) brings mail every day.

The Scandola Nature Reserve also serves as protection for all plant and animal life native to the area. They have had success in encouraging the osprey population to recover. Our guides were great in pointing out several nests with fledgling chicks. Here is one of the nests with mom (or dad?) flying overhead just above the nest on the left.

A day like today is a great reminder of the beauty all around us.

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