Corsica 2009 -A trip to the beautiful French island

Alex Besseau - C1 freestyler in the creeks of Corsica

14 days & 13 rivers of first Corsican experince

After a long night on the ferry boat with my friends Matt Coldebella, Romain Dumoulin & Jules Domine, we arrived to Bastia port. We directly went to the mountains joining some old school French paddlers to paddle in the Golo valley during the first 3 days. Corsica seemed so wonderful in these first days, that we were afraid to loose any paddling days on pretty rivers like the Porto river, which led us to the sea at the end of the descent.

Our group got bigger with some Dutch and French newcomers. Then I had the chance to paddle for the first time with my teammate, Vallentin Grollemund. The new big group went to the region of Corte, and got fun at campsite or student city parties… There we paddled on the rivers Veccio, Restonica and Fium Orbo. Water levels were very good in this beginning of april, and it was nice to see how clear the water was, looking at the fond we could see many colors of rocks like in a real aquarium.

After two weeks our trip finished in the region of the Rizzaneze river which is threated by a dam under construction. There we found river offering many nice drops, from 2 to 12 meters high. It was a real challenge to paddle all of these for a C1 paddler. Thanks to my Extreme Dry Sandiline gear I could paddle every time with a free spirit, without any worries about the cold weather & water. All rivers took at least 4 hours of descent, I must confess that I got some lazy times to do the shuttle…

We left Corsica with an awesome party on the ferry boat after 13 rivers done on 14 days. For the most of us, it was a first Corsican experience. We came back enchanted by the beauty of this wild French island.

Text by Alex Besseau

Pics by Valentin Grollemund and Raoul Collenteur


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