Base camp in Sollacaro

The base for this trip is the small village of Sallacaro on the edge of the mountains on the south west corner of Corsica. The house has amazing views from its terrace. To the left a dart of caramel-coloured houses stands out of the fluffy, scrubby trees that cover the hillside.

The arrow-head points to the coast in the distance straight ahead. A broken mirror of water shines as the sun sets over it in the west. To the right, tree-covered peaks and slopes run down in diagonal lines, heading directly towards the small bays of sand and flat agricultural land that lines each one for a short distance inland.

Sallacaro is a small, friendly village. About 50 houses line the road as it meanders down the hillside. There are two stores, epiceries, two restaurants, two bars, one that serves pizzas, a church and an elementary school with a post office sharing the same building.

The centre is the sharp curve of a band at the far end, marked by the tallest house, all four storeys of it. This is the social centre of the village with all four eating & drinking places next door out opposite each other. There’s no need to go any where out of the village!

From the terrace of the house the weather presents itself. If it’s feeling mischievous then the sun sets, dropping its core gently behind the bumps and lumps of the distant layers, creating a devil’s palette of oranges and reds. Sometimes the weather sends over mackerel clouds to remind us that nothing should be taken for granted. As the day passes and the heat grows these build in intensity and the atmosphere gets heavier. Gradually dark slabs of uniform darkness spreads over from the mountains. Watching clouds build and feeling the atmosphere intensifying sets up the rain dance at different tempos – gentle, short, swathes, deluge, storm, cracking. Wagner comes to mind. One thing is perpetual – it always ends, it moves off, it leaves an empty sky and then builds for another performance a few days/weeks later, also to be witnessed from the same terrace.

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