Col d'Arbitro

This little pass is not marked on any map I have seen. But a sign points to it in Pont de Castirla. The Michelin 1:150000 map refers to it as Croce d'Arbitro - and yes there is a cross on top.

1.(280m,km00.0) START-END SOUTH: jct N193 - D84, north of Corte
2.(350m,06.0km) Ponte Castirla: profile turns right from D84 onto D18
3.(650m,12.3km) TOP: Col d'Arbitro
4.(225m,22.8km)START-END NORTH: jct N193 - D84, south of Ponte Leccia


From South.
This is one of those roads that just seem like the perfect bike path, but you have to expect a car behind every corner, because if you don't - that will just be the corner that has a car behind it. In a conversation the night before I asked the woman whose room I rented, if driving on these roads is not very difficult. She answered: "it really develops your reflexes". I think the same can be said for biking. 99.999 percent it is so peaceful you could smoke a peace pipe. But those .0001 percent really develop your reflexes.

After beginnning the never ending sinusoidal meanderings upwards through the forest, the first  clearing shows off a small stone arch bridge, in the background the Aigles de Popolasca, a comb shaped limestone ridge that crests above everything like a coin stuck in the ground.

After a while the meanderings end at a T. The intersection turns out to be the top. Actually 4 roads meet at the pass. One goes higher, but according to the map dead ends. The other two lead to points north and south on busy N193. A high snow covered ridge to the north makes a great background for telephoto pictures.

From North. The two separate ways to get N193 are very practical, since riding on N193 is not a pleasant experience, and this makes a great alternative. My route lead north, so I took D18 through Poplasca. The surprise on this route was the village by this name, with the old decaying church steeple apparently competing with the aguiles above in pointing the way up.

A Day on a Tour with this point as Intermediate Summit is on page: Col de Bigorno