After climbing around Corte area for nearly a week, the weather has been unstable in the “mountains” for the last few days.
(I write “mountains” because the highest point on Corsica is 2706 meters, which is about the height of the hill next to my apartment back home. However, if there is humidity passing by, it’s going to find cooler temperatures up there which can evolve into rain, or the storms that we heard yesterday. )
I was having trouble finding a place that was open. A lot of hotels and campgrounds closed down the 10th of October. A quick search found us a place, open, not too expensive, by a beach in Portigliolo. We arrive and it’s a friggin’ resort! Like, wow type beautiful. Restaurant with a view over the beach, beach access in less than a minute.
So we’ve been pretending that we fit in with the resort crowd. They have electric bikes for the clients, so we took a couple yesterday and rode over to Propriano to wash the interior of the tent.
After being in Corte, the way here showed us a Corsica that is much wealthier. There are lots of small industries, mostly related to maritime activities and house construction. Many villages up in the hills have no more viable means of making a living, but I wouldn’t say that this is much different from the rest of France.
I took the time yesterday to read the graphic novel I’d bought: Une Histoire du Nationalisme Corse. What was interesting was an explanation of the progression of the various mafia influences. It seems that around 1988, many of the militants were freed from prison. While the leaders had been away, others had taken over the fight for Corsican independence and weren’t particularly happy make room for those returning. Some wanted to give up their arms and pursue a political solution for Corsica, others didn’t. Some wanted to form a whole new country while others wanted an intermediate solution with a Corsica relatively independent, but still part of France.
The FNLC was already demanding “protection money” to pay for their activities, which is a total mafia move, but some of those collecting the money weren’t sharing all of it with the FNLC. Also, the network they used to get guns, grenades and so forth into Corsica are the same networks other mafias use, so they were all off shopping with the same clients, in the same markets. It was natural that there was intermingling. The FNLC split into two factions and started killing each other in mafia territory wars for the next 27 years.
The book ends with the “end of the armed struggle” in 2015. They still have a thing against Islam, though, saying they will retaliate for any attacks by ISIL. Yvan Colonna, who was convicted of killing a French government official, was beaten to death in April of this year by a fellow jihadist prison inmate. The Islamic militants are also shopping with the same clients and in the same markets as the mafia. All part and parcel of the same things.