By Johanna the 10/04/2019
In corsican, ‘cupulatta’ means turtle... and in the Gravona Valley near Ajaccio, there’s no shortage of them! Arriving on the site of 2.5 hectares, your attention is first caught by the gigantic bronze turtle in the car park! It becomes clear that here, the turtle is queen.
With your entrance ticket to hand, you start the walk along small paths lined with stones and wood and see Hermann tortoises, Seychelles turtles and water turtles. Each species has its own habitat, diet and habits! Some hide under the leaves, some rest in the sun, others curiously approach the barriers, while others remain at a safe distance.
The tour continues in the shade of the trees, along the Gravona, the river that runs through the park. At the bend of a bridge, they appear: the mysterious giant Galapagos tortoises! With vast shells and legs, they move slowly and seem to pay no attention to multiple calls, whistles and other noises attempting to turn their heads. Impassive, they continue to wander in their pens.
A little further on, it’s the turtle alligator who steals the show: in her aquarium, her shell covered with algae, she shows us the tip of her nose when she takes a breath. This prehistoric animal is really impressive.
During the tour we also meet red-templed turtles, Seychelles turtles, leopard turtles and many more. At lunchtime it’s green salad, endives and carrots for all of them... except for us, and we snack in the cool under the trees, settled at wooden tables.
If by chance you come across Pierre, the park’s director, he might tell you his story and how the turtles chose him!
Explore "A Cupulatta" with ©Sylvain Alessandri
RN 193 direction Bastia
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