In every curving beach, in every grain of sand – there is the story of the earth

P.MalaterreThe obvious is often taken for granted, and it wasn’t until I had roamed around the island, unaware that I was in fact very often sampling the sand, that I realised how this natural component influenced my whole outlook on the beaches and their surroundings.

When you do not possess the choice, you accept what you are given or shown, but, when the possibility is there for the taking, this reveals a totally new horizon of vision – I adapted these reflections to sand within which,  in every grain – there is the story of the earth ..
I found myself choosing a particular spot depending on my humour of the moment, and having discovered the personality of each type, my imagination too delighted in entertaining this expression. Feeling like a touch of the Pacific, I would find myself on the Silver Beach (Plage d’Argent), where translucent, turquoise water awaited me, or on the other side of Ajaccio, towards the Sanguinaires Islands, popular and exotic.  At other moments, feeling the need of the natural wild, Capo di Feno was the ideal choice, where the surfers too shed all barriers and gave way to liberty of movements and expression, and where the sand is creamy and expansive. In between, there would be the impulse of spending some time with a rougher quality of sand and I always know I can find this at Capitello or Campo, where the call of the wide open too can be strongly sensed and the sentiment of a certain abandonment.

These examples are just within reach, around Ajaccio, and I should mention Palombaggia on the south east coast, for it is probably one of the most attractive – the tropical, velvet, powdery  touch, where you immerse within – but, the general principle of choice can be adapted to all over the island. In realising this, I could only adapt to this amazing advantage and ponder on the fact that for the vast majority of us, sand is frankly one of the last things you really think about when going on holidays – you just want to reach the beach, whatever variety of sand you will find! – until I reached this island, and discovered and explored the possibilities. For although I have written on certain choices above, it is not without mentioning the quality too – of texture, shade, contact and sensatory consciousness.
A particular distinction that certainly stands out where sand is concerned is towards the north of the island, and to what is known as the Cap Corse, you can discover the village of Canari, where the deposits of asbestos (lead) gravel have taken over the beach of neighbouring Nonza – resulting with a beach of dark, blackish sand, from an old mine which was closed in 1965 and which was named ‘white hell’ by the miners – quite a startling vision upon first sight. Needless to say, the vision and context do impress – there’s a world of sand out there for you to discover – and just imagine, there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand in the world, now, doesn’t that just make you wonder ..


Nonza Gra Ziella



Photo credit:

Pascal Malaterre:

Gra Ziella: Nonza



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