by Melinda Gallo

Last, but not least

Today we woke up fairly early to drive down the entire west coast to Bonifaccio, which is at the southern most tip of Corsica. We drove along the winding road from the Cap Corse to Bastia and then a fairly moderate road to Porto Vecchio and then to Bonifaccio.

Living in Florence :: Last, but not least

We arrived in Porto Vecchio for lunch and ate along the port. We were going to go to Bonifaccio to eat, but there was a lot of traffic and we weren't sure if we'd make it there for lunch before we died of hunger.

We arrived in Bonifaccio at about 4PM. The one thing we all definitely wanted to do was to go on a boat ride so we could see the city better (which is where I took the picture). The man informed us that the waves were about 2 to 2.5 meters high (from 6.5 to 8.2 feet). It sounded high to me, but I figured the boat would be big enough to not really feel much.

Everyone was worried about me since I'm not that comfortable in water and I'm not a good swimmer. But, I was more eager to see the view and conveniently dismissed the height of the waves. I should have known that when the price dropped from 14 Euros to 10 Euros each, we wouldn't be having the most comfortable of rides.

We got on and sailed smoothly out of the port and past the town on our left. Dave was seated in the front of the boat with Marie. Todd and I sat inside behind the captain of the boat.

All of a sudden the boat rocked. A huge wave came in front of us while we were underneath another one. I screamed, clung on to my seat and tried to move toward the center where Todd was. I think if he didn't hold his own spot, I would've pushed him off the bench. Water splashed up into the front of the boat and drenched Dave and Marie. Over the load speaker, the captain of the boat said it might be better if they come in since it'll only get worse.

Marie came inside and Dave didn't. I realized that Dave didn't understand the man who spoke in French, so I got up, clinging on to the wall as I knocked on the glass door so he'd come inside. He finally heard me and without translating the entire message, I just waved to come in.

I told Dave that I didn't like the boat and I wanted to get off. I hated seeing us in an abyss with a huge wave hanging over us as we rocked back and forth. The man did tell us it would be like a "balançoire" (a swing), but I didn't know he meant more like a roller coaster ride!

There were a few calmer times in the water, but not many. After a while I was feeling less scared and realized that if the staff on the boat wasn't too worried, I probably shouldn't be either. But, of course, that reasoning only lasted so long.

Another girl was scared and clung on to her seat and the one in front of her. A man who worked for the boat was talking to her and I about how the waves were nothing. Sometimes they go out when the waves are 6 meters high (19.6 feet).

Afterwards, we walked along the port and up the stairs to the old town. We could see the "grain de sable" (grain of sand), which is a huge rock off the coast of the town and all the way to Sardenia.

The town of Bonifaccio was quite different than the other towns we've visited so far. It felt more Italian to me (and not only because there were a lot more Italian tourists). The apartment buildings, the narrow streets, and the many churches and squares. There were also scooters going up and down the streets weaving in and out to avoid hitting the tourists. A few times we had to get back on the sidewalk to let cars go by.

Dave and I hope to visit Bonifaccio again. Maybe next time we'll take the ferry there from Italy and stay there for a few days.

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