Thursday August 30, 2018
HomeAgainHomeAgain JiggiddityJig. WOW, I was not used to the humid 90F heat. I felt like being back in Cambodia.
The last days of travel, I am focused. Then at home, for the next day or so I have NO focus. It’s like ALL concentration disappears and it is start something, get distracted, start something else >>>. Eventually all things kind of get “done” with my body many hours out of sync. Usually I wake up at 4AM and can not sleep. So I get up, make coffee, and go to “work”. My eyes get real dry and sleepy about 9PM and it is bed time. Over a week, I work my way back to normal. I am glad I do not have to really Go To Work upon returning home.
Deciding how to leave Bastia was something that I had not decided on until a couple of days before departure. I had a hotel reservation and had to return car on Monday. I had a reservation for Nice hotel for Tuesday evening near the train station and flights from Nice to Boston via Heathrow on Wednesday. How to get from Bastia to Nice!
Three choices. #1 was fly; with buses, it would be cost about 110 euro. Benefit less time transiting but twice the most expensive ferry. #2 was Corsica Ferry for 55 euro. It departs about 8AM, arriving Nice early afternoon. A 5-hour transit time and 24 hours to re-explore Nice in summer. The last time in Nice was a couple days around Christmas. #3 was Moby Ferry for 19 euro. It departs at 1:30PM, transit for 7 1/2 hours. Benefit is the cost and the cool look of the ferry.
I guess I had become kind of road weary. I didn’t really feel like exploring Bastia anymore. After dropping off the car and checking back into my 2-star Hotel Riviera, I had a nice conversation about the ferries with the desk clerk Ayoub at my Hotel Riveria in Bastia. Ayoub was friendly and liked using his English. We had a couple of conversations re: places in Bastia and in Corsica.
With an afternoon to spend, I chilled in Place Ste Nicholas. I sat at an outdoor table in the shade, ordered a Pietra Biere and Three Fromage panini and watched the world go by.
A street sweeper appeared and cleaned the paved walk ways nearby. It then drove onto the gravel petanque courts that I had held the tournament the week before. Petanque pistes were now empty. The truck sprayed a little water to keep the dust down and “smoothed” the gravel playing surface. Slowly, slowly, back and forth it drove… I ordered another Pietra. The big bright yellow Corsica Ferry pulled into a berth on the other side of the harborside road and let out a deep horn blast. Soon cars and passengers were disembarking.
Wednesday morning, I walked a bit then settled back in at Place Ste Nicholas with a lot of other morning coffee drinkers. At 10 AM, it was too early for three fromage panini. After an hour over a cup of coffee, I headed to my local SPAR supermarche near the hotel, bought a ham and cheese sandwich and bottle of clementine juice for the Moby ride. I retrieved my backpack, said Merci and Au Revoir to Ayoub and headed to the ferry terminal.
Pedestrian passengers get to load early and find places on board. I found a table near the indoor playground. I missed seeing the grandsons at a playground. It WAS noisy as the kids were excited. I unplugged my hearing aids and returned to finish reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. It was my travel reading on this trip. I was joined by a young solo guy traveler for or 7 ½ hour passage. He napped and listened to his phone music most of the time.
Disembarking in Nice took time. Foot passengers didn’t get off immediately but had to wait until some of the cars exited the ship. Fortunately, I had programmed my Garmin GPS with the hotel coordinates. The route it chose was for cars on one-way streets but it felt good to walk in the cool of the evening. An Italian gelato would help the walk. My 24 pound pack did make me sweat a little by the time I reached the hotel. The room at Hotel Gauthard was spartan but OK and I was tired.
The next morning was a nice breakfast, some email work, and walk to the Gare Nice and the airport bus. The hotel did advertise a shuttle service, but the desk clerk, with a frown, said that it and a taxi both cost 35 euro; the bus cost 6. That was an easy decision. Meg and I had used bus#99 to the airport before and it is very convenient and almost as fast as a shuttle/taxi.
The flight and transit thru Heathrow was easier than expected. Airport shuttle that Meg had reserved dropped me beside Meg’s car at the Park and Ride. I was in my own bed by 11P and then WIDE awake again at 4AM. My body thought I had overslept.
“Travel light and wear a smile.” Jack Holmes