Friday, June 26, 2009


The Fango - a precious Corsican environment

We spent a great afternoon on - and in - the River Fango a few days ago. If you don't know where this is, go to Galeria on Corsica's west coast and you'll find the Fango delta on the outskirts of the town.

We hired a bright yellow canoe to explore the delta. It is a wilderness of grasses, bamboo, water lilies and a myriad of little inlets and a canoe is just about the only way you'll get to see it. Try walking round there and you will get bogged down very rapidly. We knew there were turtles in the delta but in all honesty we weren't expecting to see any, so we were delighted to see not just one but nine or ten, quietly sitting on logs in the sunshine as we paddled slowly past (Click on the picture to get a better view of them).

Later in the afternoon we went for a swim further up river at the tiny village of Tuarelli, a few kilometres inland. The river is quite deep here and unlike many other river bathing places on the island you can really swim here rather than just splash about. Even though there were still patches of snow on the mountains, the river was surprisingly warm for June. I didn't see any trout in the river while we were having our dip, but I've seen plenty in recent years and I know they are there.

The River Fango is a very precious environment and a nature reserve. If you have had your fill of the beach and can't face a mountain walk, I can recommend the Fango as a very special place to visit where you can relax and enjoy a few hours of total peace.

I've crossed the bridge over what presumably in winter is the Fango (a few kilometres east of Galeria) many times ... in the summer. But where has the river gone? If it's possible to swim (properly) at Tuarelli not far away, why does the river no longer flow under the bridge? Similarly one can see (and just about swim in) the Figarella in the Foret de Bonifato but there's nothing left by the time it reaches the N197 near Camp de Rafalli. Is so much water being extracted?
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