About Clunegapyears

Travelling around Europe with James in our motorhome

1230-1133: Corsica Of Corse!

1230-1231:  Porto Vecchio

Thursday 18th – Friday 19th July 2019

If of a squeamish nature … skip this paragraph!  The plan had been to buy some LPG and some Sardinian goodies before our mid day crossing to Corsica.  But a certain person who shall remain nameless had toilet trouble.  Mum, James and I have all had on / off diarrhoea … and a dose of Imodiam 3 days ago had left J completely blocked up and uncomfortable.  Senakott the previous night had brought on tummy palpitations  … no more detail required.  But note to self is that only take Imodiam if absolutely necessary and only in less than the recommended quantities!  Don’t think our issues have been anything to do with all our medicines being long past their use by date!  Second note to self … restock medicine bags before next long trip in September.

We made it onto the boat for the 1 hour crossing and back in to Corsica.  We headed about an hour down the road to a campsite walking distance from the town centre of Porto Vecchio. Fairly basic but shade and a pool … and a toilet!  Two loads of washing that evening followed by 3 more the following day.  Normally I would have deployed the twin tub, but I had towels and bedding from Maddy’s stay, beach towels etc … I even washed our mattress and pillow protectors … not because of the above paragraph I hasten to add, but as I didn’t want to turn up at my sister’s house in France in 5 days time or the Aged P’s house at the end of the month with several sackfuls of laundry which would have smelt like a land refuse site!

We walked into Porto Vecchio late the second afternoon … a leave it place.  Much hyped as being a yachty harbour, old town with quality restaurants and a stunning night life.  The only thing that was stunning for us (eyewateringly so) was the two scoops of ice cream at EUR5.5 each.  Back with French high prices and even more so in Corsica.  This was borne out again when we paid EUR1.10 /ltr for LPG – almost double what we would expect to pay!!!

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Porto Vecchio.

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1232-1233:  Beach and Mountain Pass

Saturday 20th-Sunday 21st July 2019

We did a mountain route to start our northward journey … through another area marked by the lady in the Tourist Information centre from when we arrived in Corsica.  Being the weekend, most of the Corsicans had had the same idea, but it was easy to see why.  Stunning mountains, marked paths, lakes, rivers … we have marked this a a spend a  week exploring for when we come back to Corsica.  We had a yen to spend our last night by the coast and I’d found a camperstop just south of Solanzara … at a mere EUR11.44, and the .44 was Tourist Tax.  This was amazingly good value given all the pukka campsites would have charged about EUR50.  16amp EHU, marked pitches and a rocky beach either side.  35 pitches with an electronic entry barrier.  And ONLY US plus one permant chappie who obviously lived in his 5th wheeler and worked locally.  Sunset, sunrise, stars and peace.  We sat and watched the leisure boats in and out of Solenzara.  We stayed till our 24hrs ticket was almost up and then drove the final leg northward along the eastern coast … flat and campsite after campsite … not the best Corsica has to offer.

Our ferry leaves at 8.00 a.m. Monday and we are supposed to be at the port 2 hours before.  A campsite would not have the barrier open this early, so we had no option to wild camp … Park4Night had a few spots up the mountains from Bastia … we found ourselves in a car park at the top of a mountain pass, but only 16 km from the port.  Not much sleep.  A farmer in his pickup was up and down the road and dirt tracks by us looking for his cattle who’d escaped.  The carpark was by a hairpin, so numerous cars ripped their horns as they approached, despite oncoming head lights that would have alerted them.  Oh, and the idiot who likes to wheel spin in gravel car parks.  Silence eventually prevailed at 2.00 a.m. and alarms went off at 5.00!  Ho hum, we’ve booked a cabin for our morning crossing.  

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We had a coffee stop by this reservoir … the tree stumps had not quite disintegrated.

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One of the rocky beaches at our camperstop.

 

So our spontaneous (an Easter Sunday conversation about where to go after Germany) Corsican and Sardinian adventure ends.  62 days spilt evenly between the two islands.  My phone has travelled 6,273 kilometres … van and by foot.  When we win the big Premium Bonds prize, we’ll come back to Corsica …. the scenery is always what wins it for us.  

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1222-1229: Oh For Air Con!

1222-1223:  An Our Next Visitor Arrives!

Wednesday 10th – Thursday 11th July 2019 

We are getting to know Olbia airport rather well, and the nearby Auchan supermarket.  We’ve collected and returned the Aged P’s and a hire car.  Today, it was collecting my daughter, Maddy Munchkin. We slid by the supermarket to stop up on things she likes to eat … but no ice cream given the freezer is struggling and my recent unpleasant experience, necessitating not moving far from the facilities!

Knowing Maddy would not be acclimatised (and we are still not), I’d booked a campsite on the east coast with a pool and adjacent to a beach.  We did manage to walk to the local hamlet of Santa Lucia for a coffee, and then that evening, for a fish supper.  Sadly dinner was the worst meal we have had in Sardinia … poor service, badly filleted fish, watery sauce, chewy calamari and poor service … and this was supposedly the best in town!  None had good reviews on TripAdvisor, which I do only use as a loose guide, but the website is good to be able to pass on our own experience / get revenge!!!

Maddy and I basked and swam by turns, mostly leaving J with the dogs, his book and some peace and quiet.

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The trip across Sardinia to the airport … hay harvested and hills.

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In search of caffeine … and the beach.

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Santa Lucia really was not much more than a few restaurants and a tower, but every coastal Sardinian town has one of those.

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We’d bought hand held fans … this is the hands free version.


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 how much wine should we drink before they take our food order? 

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My over cooked fish being mascerated; never before have I been served it with full skin, bones and a few fins for good measure!

1224-1225:  Air Con Calling

 Friday 12th – Saturday 13th July

We drove south, coffee stop at Orosei, which had nothing to remark on, despite its entry in the guide book!  But we accomplished coffee, and ATM and pharmacy for moszzie cream and after sun lotion.  The main reason for driving south was to travel the scenic Orientale Sarda road – hewn out by Piedmontese coal merchants in the mid 1800s.  Obviously it has been much improved since then, but both my passengers did not enjoy the scenery … the twists and turns had them both groaning despite my low speeds. 

Our two night stay was a beachside parking at a Camper Stop in Santa Maria Navarrese, with full facilities for only EUR18 per night.  Despite being in the lap of luxury (!), the heat and the road bends had got to Maddy … she booked air con!  Well a nearby hotel room with air con for the next two nights.  She appeared later that night and the next morning as fresh as a daisy!  

Similar formula to the last stop, beach and swimming, whilst J read with CO2.  We all had an amazing pizza … thinnest base ever … at the restaurant next door and J had a big Gaelic Football win for Dublin.  Up the Dubs!

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Orsei church … just to prove we were there.

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The Gorroppu Ravine … one of the deepest in S Europe, in places the side are 200m.  You could walk down 5km and get a lift back up, but my poorly passengers weren’t up for it.

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The beach was this close.

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And we had shade :).

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Shared seafood salad … is that bit octopus, cuttlefish etc?  Who cares, tasted good.

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Know what this is!

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Should have brought the fan with you … the thin crisp of bread kept snapping.

 1226:  Airport Run

 Sunday 14th July

We dropped Maddy back at Olbia airport, via another stop at the Auchan shopping mall.  4 nights but over so quickly … but will see her in only a few weeks.  J and I drove onto the North Coast (Porto Pozzi – a harbour and small beach) with the intension of hunkering down due to the heat.  But it was a cooler evening and the forecast for the next few days was a mere 29/30C.  A decision made to resume Sightseeing … yay!

1227:  Back to Sightseeing – Alghero

Monday 15th July

We parked up about a 15 min walk along the front form the historic centre.  We both really like Alghero … enough buildings of interest and nooky streets.  It was busy, but we forced down ice creams.

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Looking along to one of the many towers and the Bastione.

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The building that looks like a London theatre is the cathedral.

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The main piazza.

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Local coral everywhere.  With so much of it on sale, one would think the prices would be low!  Try EUR70 for ear rings!

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Our sunset view.

 

1228:  Ancient Site Sightseeing & Stintino

 Tuesday 16th July

To max the sightseeing, we drove to Fertilia, another Fascist created town on reclaimed land, not to stop but to see the Roman bridge that is now only used by fishermen.  Then onto the Necropolis Anghelu Ruju.  I went in … J is a bit ancient sited out and it is a rest opportunity.  It is the largest pre-nuraghic burial place in Sardinia.  The tombs are called Domus de Janus … Fairy Houses, which they could well be as they have steps, door lintels and carvings.  Only discovered in1903 and some damaged by quarrying, but a magic place, where the dead were revered from 3300BC.

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Construction was a main entrance and chambers off, although the actual layout varied.  Several people were usually buried in each chamber.

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A column in this chamber.

From here we drove onto Stintino, which is up the NW finger.  A bit unattractive as you drive past petrochemical industries and solar and wind farms, and the coast has more recently been discovered by hotel chains.  Stintino itself was only established about 100 years ago – built between two natural harbours for people moved off an island that was to house a prison.  An attractive place for a drink and an ice cream … or a boat ride to the prison island.

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Odd bits of modern sculpture about.

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Melon and pistacchio.


Our overnight was a further 7km up to the Capo Falcone … a moonscape over cliffs.

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We were joined overnight by two small campers, but they kept their distance.

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Quite a few came for the sunset, but left soon after.

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A group of hippies with their instruments, not a broomstick poking up, they left in a Fait.

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And the moon rose 180 degrees behind us.

1229:  Porto Torres

 Wednesday 17th July

Back across the top of Sardinia in the direction of our ferry tomorrow.  A coffee and wander stop at Porto Torres  Now Porto Torres is a major port with boats to Marseilles and Toulon.  It had the standard tower and a beautiful church, but little else.  It was once a Roman colony, but the extensive site was closed …. a number of French bods off a cruise ship were trying to find their way in.  

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San Gavino Basilica – Pisan style from 1111.

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The Crypt with a lower crypt to 3 martyrs.  Early Christian burial sites C4th have also been excavated here.

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The Roman bridge … what’s left of it and not worth walking to.


Our overnight is close to our ferry from Santa Teresa at Baia Santa Reparata … a lovely rocky coastal path, but a TUI flag on the small beach … say no more.

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We leave Sardinia tomorrow and back to Corsica for 4 nights.  Our initial thoughts of Sardinia have not altered.  Not as stunning as Corsica, with less wild flowers … Oleanders line most roads.   We do like the Italians and their relaxed attitude. Cheaper than Corsica and eating out (other than one experience) has been good quality and leisurely.  We like the wine, especially the Vermentino … flavoursome.  Of course gelato!  Great beaches and ancient sites from 3000BC.  Wild camping is fine all year around, although less places by beaches in the high season.  We’ve only used campsites this trip due to the temperature.  Sassari and Alghero are definitely worth an explore, as are some fo the smaller towns.  But would we come back?  Probably not, I think we’ve seen the best of it … despite the heat…

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1213-1221: Enforced Lunching!

1213 – No Sneezing in S’Archittu

 Monday 1st July 2019

No Sneezing in S’Archittu, but lunch … again!  We continued our lunching with the Aged P’s as it was just too hot to do anything else!  This was a pick recommended by the Oristano chap in the Tourist Information.  He described it as a good place to walk the promenade and have lunch.  We opted out of the former due to the temperature and went for the second activity in a restaurant on the small cliff over the beach, with a breeze.  Mum and I are trying all the variations of fish in Vernacchia sauce – very scientific, of course!

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Dad comparing a fried seafood platter.

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Evening sunset in our Agritourism garden.

1214 – Lunch and Train in Bosa

Tuesday 2nd July 

We pushed the boat, or train, out in Bosa.  Lunch and a little Dotty tourist train.  Nice place to wander.

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Having driven down the main shopping street, avoiding the tourists, we parked the other side of the bridge.

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Part of the theory behind the long lunches was the cool air con interiors … we managed to elect to sit inside a restaurant without air con!  I am ever the dutiful daughter!

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Not our best lunch, great presentation, just a little bland.

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Waiting for the tourist train … Oscar who is petrified of Grumps, actually let him stroke him.  There must be something in becoming desensitised.

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Some church outside the town to make the train worth its fee.  Didn’t take us all the way up the castle above the town though!

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Let sleeping dogs lie!  We had them on the back seat with us so they could benefit from the air con.  The Fiesta really wasn’t big enough!  Fun removing the hairs before returning the car!

 

1215 – Arborea or was that Mussolinia?

Wednesday 3rd July 

En route we stopped at a church, which was the wrong one in Santa Justa … my impeccable research and navigation skills!  But we found the correct one.

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Arab and Lomard elements in design, the cathedral was built early in the C12.

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The interior pillars were all different, having been ‘recycled’ from various Roman sites, such as Tharros.

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No crypt is complete without the original body parts of the saint.

Arborea was very different to any of the other towns we’ve seen here (Carbonaria might have been similar had we had time to go into the town), as it was only built in the 1930, duding the Fascist era.  It was originally named Mussolinia and built on a grid system of tree lined wide avenues.  Neo Gothic villas with large gardens.  All the civic buildings such as Town Hall, School and church were on the main square.  The townsfolk were shipped in (another Mussolini relocation scheme) from the mainland to work the reclaimed agricultural land.  Some of the streets were named after where they came from such as via Lazio, via Veneto and via Marche.  We had planned to return to the restaurant that we visited in Oristano, just for the amazing Tiramsu, but a local restaurant here was offering tuna encrusted in pistachio … no brainer so in we went.  Well, Mum and I led the way … the menfolk would surely find something they liked on the menu!  Slightly over cooked for us (we wondered if they had cooked it well for the foreigners!), but it was still delicious.  

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The Church.

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Tuna encrusted with pistachio and caponata side.

 

 1216 – Airport Run and Another Lunch

Thursday 4th July 

We left the Agritourism and drove up NE across to the airport.  James was in Jez, and the rest of us in the Fiesta, but we still managed to arrive at the same service station for coffee at the same time.  Onto Olbia, where we left Jez in a car park and we headed up the coast for lunch.  We stopped short of Porto Rotondo, as we were concerned about how long lunch would take.  Mum and I shared a large fish in Vernacchia … yummy.  Then as we had time, we drove up to Porto Rotondo and then out again!  It looked like a very up market holiday resort … the Costa Smeralda is not really for the likes fo us!

Aged P’s deposited at the airport … they only had a few days at home before they were off again – France this time!  Forgot to mention we managed to hands of Cribb, mum slaughtered me, but then I won the second with a small but significant margin.  Decider match to be held in Charente in a few weeks time.  One for his Knob!

James and I headed up the coast … we’d planned to stop along the Costa Smeralda, but No Parking signs, street alterations etc meant we kept going to Palau.  Semi shade with other motorhomes behind a public building.  CO2 and I wandered into the town which largely owes its popularity to boat trips to the nearby islands, but no dogs on beaches and full of sun worshipers … no reason to linger.


1217 – 1221:  Sick in Sorso, Lunch in Sassari

Friday 5th  – Tuesday 9th July 

With the weather showing no sign of easing up we continued with the line of last defence … sightseeing has to go on hold.  Too hot for us and too hot for the dogs.  We all need shade.  We checked into a campsite along the sandy northern coast near Sorso.  Camping Li Nibari was relatively inexpensive … EUR26 + 3 for EHU.  The camper pitches were under pine trees, it had a pool and across the road was the beach for walking CO2 when it was cooler.  The negatives were that the pine trees constantly dropped needles and being a sandy sub soil … ants!  But I for one was very thankful to be there with full facilities when I copped a dose of acute diarrhoea … say no more!  ….  Except to say it has been reoccurring and J has had a mild dose too.  Immodium is our friend!

Despite not being able to move far and feeling quite weak, we managed a van clean and two lots of laundry.  

And we had a fabulous last day out to Sassari.  We nearly didn’t go, but were really pleased we did.  A lovely town to wander around with some impressive buildings and squares.  Lots of narrow streets.  And, guess what, another good lunch!  And the best bit … we went on the bus, and no issues with CO2.

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Castelsardo is a major coach and cruise ship destination; all we did was park up, admire and drive onto the campsite.  In the heat, neither of us fancied the several KM walk in and up to the castle.

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Our pitch under the trees and we could see the van from the pool.


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Sassari and St Francis of Assisi, but I reckon the birds may prefer me … Francis looks a bit glum!

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Built in the Fascist era – the Tribune.

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Think it’s a plume on King Carlos’ head as against a pigeon.

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The pic doesn’t do the stonework of the Duomo justice.

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These pillars are carried through the city on certain dates by specific trades.  Fairly heavy, but …

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… not as heavy as this.  We’ve seen Madonnas carried before, where the men take 10 slow paces, lower and are replaced by an alternate crew.  I wonder how far this gets carried before a break is needed.

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Fontana del Rosello 1600s:  one of the city symbols.  Local water carriers used to collect water from one of the 8 lion mouths.

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A barking pair … and Canapa King is a chain selling e juice, oils, drinks etc all made from ….

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 We went for the shared mixed starter for EUR12 … yummy mix of cheese, hams (incl pork cheek), mushrooms, cauliflower stew …

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Love the fig and Apple & ginger jams to go with cheeses.

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Happy food bunny.

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Aah … spooning!  Should have shown this to our first choice of restaurant who turned us away as the dogs would take up too much room.

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Packing up to leave the campsite included removing the thatch roof on our awning and hoovering the roof fly screens.


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Mozzie bite update:  James sporting a few bites that have turned a vivid red.

1208-1212: Bugger It, It’s Hot!

1208 – Bugger It, It’s Hot

Wednesday 26th June 2019

We had planned to visit Iglesias for its mining relicts and, of course, churches.  As we approached, we looked a the weather and the beads of sweat running down our faces …  Bugger That, so we drove past Buggerru (yes a real place) and onto Portixeddu, a small two street hamlet.  According to Park4Night, it was a free parking above a cove and near the beach .  However, the local town had cottoned onto this money making potential and  youth in an orange vest, with an official looking table, collected EUR6 from us.  We ignored the main car park and headed for the cliff top.  Arriving just after lunch, it was empty, but got very busy later in the afternoon.  After a short walk, CO2 and I decamped to the small cover just below.  When i swam out, I could just see the roof of Jez.  James joined me later … and so did the masses … from being solo, I was joined by about a dozen other folk and my deserted piece of heaven became a little crowded.  It really was the ONLY way to spend the afternoon.

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Looking back at Jez, over my small cove and across to the beach.  

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CO2 actually displaying some sense and sheltering.  Despite the temperature and lots of encouragement, neither would paddle more than up to their knees. 

 

1209 – Thank Goodness for Air Con

Thursday 27 June

When we set off, we discovered a parking ticket on the windscreen.  But we’d paid and have the ticket to show.  I asked the orange vested youth as we left the village, apparently the ticket was only until 0800hrs … we we were still in bed at this time!  He kindly waived the additional fee.   

We drove for 5 i/2 hrs with coffee and lunch stops from SW, about 3/4 the way down Sardinia to the NE, about 1/4 the way down.  The van air con is pretty efficient, so we managed to keep us and CO2 cool.  

Aged P’s arriving tomorrow and we headed to an ACSI campsite near Olbia airport, via a supermarket shop.  Straight into jobs … washing machine token for bed linen, twin tub deployed for the rest of it, J Jez cleaned, sausages into the Remoska with salad and showers for us.  We didn’t even get to see the beach!

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 No let up in the temperatures.  How many ways can they say It’s hot, hot, hot!

 

1210 – Aged P’s Arrival

Friday 28th June

Leaving the campsite, services completed, we picked up a car from a firm called WOWRent … nothing wow about the Feista.  It is proving too small for 4 adults, two dogs and what ever paraphernalia we take out each day.  Note to self – larger car to be booked for Crete in October.   J drove Jez and CO2 to the Agriturismo, where the Aged P’s have a room for 6 nights and I hung out in a shopping mall … coolest place to be.  After 2 ice creams and 3 coffees, the delayed plane arrived.  So good to see them … 

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One ice cream was a Baachi Mac Flurry Yummy and my first time in a MacDonalds in over 4 years!

We have lucked out again with accommodation.  The Aged P’s room has a good en suite and air con.  We have been allowed to ‘park’ in the grounds.  The owners don’t seem to live on site, but staff appear morning for their breakfast and late afternoon.  So we are awning, chairs and tables out … CO2 are running free and having minor skirmishes / flirtations with the dogs from one of the two neighbouring properties.


1211 – Oristano

Saturday 29th June

With yesterday being a long travelling day, we stayed local.  A wander around Oristano.  Pleasant enough, but not much to it … J was disappointed there was not another castello or citadel at the top of a hill to climb – NOT!   After a coffee and a few drinks at a bar, we found a restaurant right next to our car park … the first restaurant we looked at had a long table set for about 30 … the second restaurant wasn’t a restaurant at all, just a wine bar, but he kindly pointed out a restaurant two doors up.  And this was a find.  We celebrated a belated Father’s Day, which we all got to enjoy. Seriously good food, although there was a slight hic cough with the ordering – two ravioli instead of two fish in wine with olives … but the chef was super apologetic and we were treated to a glass of his mother’s most excellent fennel liqueur.  So good we plan to go back on our last day together.  I wouldn’t mind if I had exactly the same menu. Best ever Tiramasu.

Back at the ranch, Mutt slaughtered me at Cribb, and only 1 x One for his Knob!  Small supper and wine sitting in the breeze outside Jez.  Being bitten to buggery.  Little crops of 5+ red bites … need to deploy Jungle protection earlier.

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Dad with his Italian coke … coffee shop very proudly informed us that he didn’t sell the American.
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Queen Eleonora d”Arborea, a Sardinian Jean d’Arc, who held out against Spanish rule.  She wrote a book of law,  was the basis of the constitution until mid C18th.

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 The Cathedral.

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1212 – Thorros and Torregrande

Saturday 29th June

One of the main attractions nearby is Thorros.  Similar to Nora … Nuraghi, Phoenicians, followed by the Romansa and then abandoned due to N. African pirate raids in the C10th.  A super location on the coast, partway along a spit.  Being Sunday, which we had all forgotten, it was really busy, but not in the ancient site.  Everyone was heading for the beach.    Coffee at the breezy site’s cafe and then a quick walk around.  All the sign boards had been removed, other than the label advising this was Baths No. 1 or 2 etc.    We had thought we might sit on the beach and have a few swims, but the lack of shade … so we decided to drive along the coast to Torregrande for a light bite.  On the way back to the car, Oscar had a hobby rear leg moment. So J went and got the car for him …. fortunately the air con in the car is super efficient. 

At Torregrande, we dived into the first restaurant with air con …. a cool tiled floor for O.  A light bite … again I struck lucky. I’d ordered the mussel soup … but it was really mussels in a fresh tomato sauce.  Dessert was a massive sundae on the beach front.  Mum and J needed help finishing theirs … but I KNOW ice cream and cheese go into different stomachs!

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Thorros …

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Are we really going to go out in the midday sun?

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Like Nora, the Roman stone had been recycled to build the watch tower.

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This area was informatively called ‘Two Column Area”.

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Sea on one side with all the colourful sun umbrellas and cars parked down the middle.  Lagoon and small harbour on the right.

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 Bite update … jungle juice was applied much earlier in the evening, but the little Buggers are picking on small areas of unexposed skin and dive bombing that area with 5+ bites.  Now how do they get through clothes?  A knee crop through long trousers.

 

 

1205-1207: Sightseeing in Heat!

1205 – A Nothing Day

Sunday 23rd June 2019

We literally drove to a car park in Cagliari.  James was a bit pooped so he rested in the afternoon and then listed on the radio to his football team, Dublin, win.  After all this excitement, it was too late to explore the capital of Sardinia.  So we went to bed early-ish to city sounds and the noises from the port.  Empty car park when we arrived on Sunday, and packed by the time we got up on Monday … free and close to town.

 

1206 – Cagliari

Monday 24th June 

I’d plotted all the main sights on Maps.Me so was tour guide.  There are supposed to be a few elevators to take people up to the castello … I know they were out of order 2 years ago when Penny of europenomand.wordpress.com blog was here … and they still are!  So we slowly and stickily made our way up to the top.  Rewarded with views and a coffee.  We thought, being the capital of Sardinia, we would be back into rip of the tourist territory, but no, only EUR3 for 2 cappuccino.

We spotted a huge cruise liner in the port and discovered a huge number of Brits around … all off the ship.  They ‘done’ Naples, Florence, now Cagliari and were on their way to Cadiz, having started in Southampton.  All in 2 weeks, and here we are scratching the surface of Sardinia in a month.  We chatted to a couple off the ship, who were missing their own 3 dogs.  They were in trouble with the tour group leader who had been counting heads and missing two.

One of the highlights for me was the Giants of Mont’e Prama in Cagliari Archeological Museum.  The anther exhibit of interest was a stone with the first known script on it where the name Sardinia is used.  The rest of the museum contained a lot of artefacts we’ve seen else where, such as pottery, coins, urns etc.  

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Busy car park.  And not the nicest of views.

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This was a bit smarter than the normal Cagliari street, which was very Italian … in need of a good jet wash and make over.  Shouldn’t say ‘Italian”; the Sardinian’s are Sardinian first and then Italian.

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Pisan built in 1307 in response to the Aragonese threat.  One of the main entrances to the Castello and open to the elements on the rear. Elephant Tower ,,, due the statue on the wall …

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Wouldn’t fancy being under this gate if it were to be dropped.

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Coffee stop view and cruise liner.

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Torre San Pancrazio with its open rear.  Also the Petit Train, but as the historic centre is so contained, there was no need.

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 The nuraghe Giants  were found by accident in 1974 in farmland.  They are carved sandstone and their height varies from 2-2.5 m.  15 heads and 22 torsos were found.  they symbolise warriors  archers and boxers and are believed to date from C11-8th BC.This ancient civilisation reflects the importance of the area in trade with places as far away as Syria.

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The Nora Slate is the oldest written document in Sardinia and “probably Western Europe”, dated between 850-725BC. The name Sardinia is on the 3rd line.

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Cathedral Santa Maria Crypt.   This is the Martyrs Sanctuary as there are 179 niches with relicts of Cagliari martyrs.

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Santa Maria Cathedral … 4 lions at the foot of the balustrade.

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Bastione di Saint Remy; Built into the vita walls between 1899-1902.  A huge terrace with views 

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The main gate and stairs down.

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Looking back up.

 

After a very good lunch, we drove along the coast to our overnight, near Pula and Nora.  I wandered with CO2 whilst J napped and then early evening saw us take our first full cooling sea immersion.  And no need for wet suits to keep us warm!

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Walk view.

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Drying off.  Neither CO2 would enter the water … if only they knew what was good for them!

 1207 – Nora and No Batty Tights & A Mine

Tuesday 25th June

We drove a very short way to Nora.  On arrival we were told for an additional EUR1 pp there was an English tour in 6 minutes … our guide spoke fluent English and German, and had done his thesis on the ancient site.  An C8 BC Phoenician city, then inhabited and changed by the Punics and then the Romans in 238BC.  What you can see is the Roman on top of what lies below.  And what you can see is only a fraction of the entire city as the water level has risen 1.5 meters so a good chunk is under water.  You can see the baths , amphitheatre (which was being built up for the summer concerts) and and some impressive mosaics in a wealthy man’s house.  Much of the stone was recycled to build the local towers agains the Spanish and the ‘new’ inland village of Pula, when the kidnapping and raids from N Africa and the Visigoths got too much.

The guide was quite open about his political views … Sardinian independence, or vote at least.  Sardinia was the first Italian ‘acquisition’ and he resents that Sardinia history, poetry and the language are not taught at school.

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Roads disappearing into the sea … on the right would have been the Forum.

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After a refreshment stop in the Nora cafe (ice cream my have been involved), we headed to Carbonia – Coal Town.  When we toured Italy in 2016 we came across a lot of Mussolini / /Fascist evidence from land reclamation and people relocation experiments to architecture.  This is a whole town that was built on wasteland.  As Italy felt the pinch with sanctions agains Fascism, they had to find coal and there is none on mainland Italy.  Within months they had built a coal mine and a town to house the workers.  18,000 workers with 12,000 working below ground in 3 shifts.  The accommodation may have been modern with an inside loo, but the working conditions were anything but civilised.  Starting at the age of 11, menfolk often had to work 16 hours shifts, especially during the war.  They were not supposed to take food down, but did … no lunch or coffee breaks.  What little was paid the workers, was clawed back in rent, fuel etc charges. Back breaking and dangerous work.  Fatalities IN the mine were accurately reported as 128 … but none of the men who died above ground from injuries or lung poisoning made it onto the statistics.  The mine was only active for 27 years, closing in 1964, as it is lignite.  We know Greece still mines this!  The worker were offered a small redundancy package and may left to work in mines abroad.  I asked about those that remained … they mostly found work in the local dock, but with the recession … they were waiting for better economic times.  

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You are just a number.

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Workers collected a lantern but no protective gear.

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Winding gear … one up and one down.  A cage held either two trucks with material or 90 men.

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A vibrating conveyor .. no dust or sound protection.

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We didn’t have time to walk into the town to see the fascist architecture: apparently residents had had a backlash against the political ideals and changed a lot, but there was now a movement to restore the architectural principles. 

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Interesting to see where the world’s coal despots are.  

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Porto Scuso, where we stayed on a new, but not yet open aire in the middle of the fishing village.

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 A few wines / beers to cool off  … just too hot to sit in the van.  And then we moved next door for a pizza and salad and a half litre of wine for under £20 .. we like Sardinian prices.