Friday, May 08, 2009

Team Nookie in Corsica

Hi all,

As never before seen, the island of Corsica has been overrun by a huge number of paddlers this April. It might be because of the first kayaksession event organized over there, or because of the knowledge that one of the greatest rivers, called Rizzanese, will be soon dammed and it would be the last chance to run it, or even because the many tons of snow loaded on the mountains that promised perfect waterlevels, which you never really get on Corsica...

However, on the ferry it was showed on many car roofs, the paddlers invasion would be about to reconquer napoleons home and support the local querilla fighters against mother France's energy industry.
Waterlevels in fact were great - but on Corsica it doesn't means it wouldn't be pretty rocky.
As i took note, many Nookie Team Riders did visit this place this year, but only one did not crash his boat... (that wasn't me!).
The kayaksession event was pretty cool and had the paddlers feeling they had the island to themselves. In fact you couldn't run across any street, cross any town or cruise over any pass without making fingersigns to
many paddler cars crossing you.

One of the highlights of the event was to visit the Rizzanese an run it in memory and by thanking the local people for there fight over 20 years in trying to stop the plans of the water energy industry - sadly without results... the works already began and my mind was smashed over when i did first see the put out of the codi at the conclusion to the rizza: Last time i stood here, it was a place far away of streets, in the middle of nature, with the greatest slide of the hole island. Now everything was removed by huge trucks and other machines, several road ends and the slide is destroyed. Here will be the wall of the damm, and at the
takeout of the second gorge the pressure-piplines entry to the river.

So nothing will be well to paddle here when this guys finished their job... a very special fact about the hole project is that this river only brings a few cubics of water in April and May, the rest of the year
its dry anyway, so everybody wonders how they want to produce energy during the whole year.
So on the events last day, around 30 paddlers did get together and paddled down the standard section of the Rizza, and on shore many local people did serve us with perfect barbecue and other local specialities.
I never thought that local people - that normaly look pretty dusty - would be so open and friendly (including fishermans) in discussions and joining some time with foreign paddlers, but it's good to know that Corsica is full of pearls of steep rocky creeks that promise to make many more visits to great roadtrips!
i will be there again and again...
take care
Alex Keller - Nookie Team Rider

All pictures taken and copyright of Boby Frieser