David Ralph | The Dublin Review | Summer 2017 | 16 minutes (4,425 words)

I could tell you about the view from the plane as it descended towards Calvi; I could describe the granite formations along the coast and the sparkling sea; I could supply various details about how Geoffrey, Jean-Thomas and I passed our first few days in Corsica; but really this story begins with the Mountain Man.

It was late April. Our vague plan was to spend a few days hiking in the mountains, and Jean-Thomas — a native Corsican — had been advised that the Mountain Man could tell us about the best routes. We found him in the café he owned in the coastal town of Ile Rousse. This seemed an unlikely place for a Mountain Man, but he was wiry, ruddy-complexioned, and had on khaki shorts and heavy walking boots, as if he had…

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