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.


1199-1204 : Sliding into Sardinia

 1199- Sardinia Here We Come

Monday 17th June 2019

Knowing that we would be back to wilding in Sardinia as of tomorrow night, we used campsite EHU and water to clean the inside of Jez and the outside of us.  We paid emptied and refilled, just before the office shut at 12.00, having to sit in their reception car park to tidy up inside before we set off.  We stopped at a supermarket, only to be greeted with Non, you can’t park here!!!!  But I want to do some shopping!  OK then, but park in the landing bay so I can see the car park, to catch anyone else who parks but doesn’t shop..  Whilst I was swinging my shopping trolley through the aisles, J had to ring me, he had a demand of EUR10 to park.  So I accosted the lady on the tills … no, you don’t need to pay as you are shopping.  But they were vigilant. As we drove around Bonifacio to the port, we could see the problem.  Two full car parks with height barriers and cars queuing to get in.  No motorhome parking.  At all.

We followed the signs for the port, that took us up towards the citadel (cripes!), then there was low tunnel.  A loud motorbike appeared fast at the passenger window … “don’t take the tunnel, you are too big” … thank you but we are going to the port, which was a right hadn’t turning.  Kind of him though, even if his sudden appearance did give us a minor heart attack.  At the port, we saw a load of cars parked up, queuing for the next ferry, we supposed.  So we squeezed onto the end.  After about 20 mins, a port official walk over, asks which ferry we were booked on and told us to come into the dock … we were only the second vehicle.  It soon filled up.

At embarking time, I was given a foot passenger boarding card and told to take the dogs with me.  J was left to reverse on … right to the back of the ship … with 3 Italians all barking contradictory orders at him in the semi haze having come from bright daylight.  Evidently he was not moving fast enough and one chappie even stuck his arm through the window and took over the steering wheel!!!

The crossing is only 12 km, and as you loose sight of the cliffs at Bonifacio, you see the land at Santa Teresa Gallura.  We struck up conversation with a British, but Venetian resident, tour guide.  She was in charge of 50 Brits on a week long holiday to Sardinia, with a day trip to Corsica.  I did ask what there itinerary was, so we could avoid them!  

On arrival in Sardinia, J took the dogs into the dog walking area, whilst I went to the Tourist Information.  Oscar watched me go and went into complete melt down … panic barking and scratching at the gate. We’ve been doing a new training programme with both dogs, but evidently need to do more on separation anxiety with Oscar!

The visit to the Tourist Information was one of those experiences that leaves a smile on your face.  A couple of super helpful ladies, whose remit was really only the local town, but were keen to share their knowledge and love of their island with me.  

We travelled up into the hills to Tempio Pausania to sleep in the carpark for and ancient site.  Back to wilding … peaceful and a sense of freedom.

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You can see how much of Corsica we’ve travelled … will have a few days to travel up the east coast on our return.  The loss of the van and spending a total of 13 nights in Calvi affected how much we saw.  It really is the most beautiful of islands.  Stunning mountains, coves and beaches.  BUT, it is very expensive and wild camping approaching the high tourist season is strictly enforced … we could have got away with it in a few places, but … risk adverse.

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Our harbour front port parking … lunch in Jez whilst watching all the pleasure craft.

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Just leaving Bonifacio, with its citadel.

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No pooping on the poop deck … only a 1 hr crossing.  They were much admired but the British tour group.

1200 – Pausing at Tempio Pausania and Wine Museum

Tuesday 18th June 

We both actually ran … first time again in ages.  We are both currently rubbish at exercise … ho hum… need to get up earlier when it is cooler.  Our run took us past the Mairi Nuraghe, a well preserved round tower; it didnt look as if it had been open officially to the public for some time, and the wire near the gate had been forced.  After break, we headed into Tempio proper. A walk up through a park and then down to the Rinaggiu Spring.  The health effects of the mineral water were recognised by the Romans as artefacts have been found nearby.  Back through the park in search of coffee.  Lots of Italians of all ages out walking, standing and chatting in the park.  We do like being in Italy … I might have asked for Cafe con leche (Spanish – duh)!, but it was all done with a giggle and a smile.  And ONLY EUR1 each.  And Stong proper Italian Coffee.  I am in COFFEE HEAVEN!!

Lunch and a nanny nap was by the stadium in Berschidda.  Since it so hot and everything shuts sown between 12 and 4ish, we are trying to siesta (well James is) after lunch and then do/ see something else from about 4.00.  Our body clocks are not quite into the rhythm of this and meal times seem to be a bit all over.  We then drove carefully around the outskirts and to the national wine museum.  Some of it was in English, but it was not that informative.  Although a good explanation of cork harvesting.  AND, our EUR3 pp entry fee gave us a wine tasting.  It would have been rude not to come away with a local bottle … very light and dry due to the granite.

Our overnight was a picture perfect spot.  OK, so we bumped down a track touching overgrown foliage, and slept on a bit of a slope …. but it was a stunning lake side spot.  The dogs roamed free and we soaked up the peace.

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Park walk in Tempio.

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Rinaggiu Spring, where a number of loads were collecting water.  We’ve some across this before where they use natural spring water for the important business of making coffee and cooking pasta.  We all had a sample, and of course, felt immediate health benefits.

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 It might have been small, but it packs a punch.

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Berschidda Wine Museum … there were fab views from the deck outside.

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Cork is harvested approx every 8 years with top and bottom cuts and then the vertical.  Only by the 3rd harvest is the cork of sufficient quality to be used for bottle cork.

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Pitch perfect, Laga Lerna near Pattada. 

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In the morning we were joined by a few fishermen, and cattle and sheep coming down to the water’s edge.

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 Corrie made herself a nest.

1201 – Budduso Coffee, Sacred Well and Nuoro

Wednesday 19th June 

We seem to have set a tradition in the Clune household now of stopping off somewhere for a coffee.  Today was no different.  Coffee stop was Budduso … nothing remarkable … granite stone streets, a little graffiti / wall art and a golden sacristy in the church.  Another good and inexpensive coffee :).

Near Orune is the Su Tempiesu, sacred well.  It was down a 5km single track road with the occasional overhang … fortunately we didn’t meet any traffic in either direction.  As is now our custom, we lunched, J napped and I did some admin sitting in the shade – the Aged Ps have just got back from a trip to Kosovo and emailed me scanned copies of a LOT of post.  I have rearranged the garage, so that we can get table and chairs out for picnics etc … normally this is not something we would do, but is soooo hot.  And what a fabulous lunch view we had.

After lunch we paid our EUR3 pp (every entrance seems to be EUR3) and took the botanical path a long way down to the sacred well.  Coming back up was the fauna path, with lots of welcome benches.  We were accompanied by the resident male and entire dog. – for the non doggy, this means he still had his bits, asides Oscar.  He and Corrie got on well, but we had to keep Oscar on the lead a lot, as the two were hackles up.  On the way back up, the resident dog decided to move in and assert his authority … it took both J and I’s combined efforts to get him off Oscar … although O was giving a good account of himself!  It has left oscar a bit more nervous and barky around other dogs … GRRR!  That’s put training back a bit.

We parked for our overnight stop in the mountain region’s capital Nuoro.  The town is pretty ordinary … but amazing views to white peaks on one side.  We headed up and up to find the Tourist Office shut and we couldn’t find a gelateria anywhere.  So we stopped for a drink in a lovely square … the waiter had worked in London for 13 years and was happy to practice his English and look after us.  We are finding this new daily routine is playing havoc with our digestion … we were starving … it was 7.00, after all.  The restaurant opened at 8.00 … Guiseppe brought us loads of pizza squares to keep us going.  I ate far too many and couldn’t manage all the amazing fresh tuna.  

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A bit of Buddoso graffiti.

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We passed these cork harvesters … they gave us a cheery wave.

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Lunch time view at Su Tempiesu.

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Start of the Botanical walk down.

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Su Tempiesu.  It was only discovered in 1953 by the land owner as he excavated to make terraces to take advantage of the spring.  The wells were to celebrate the importance of water and ceremonies took place here.  This is typical of the Sardinian wells in structure, but this is the best preserved.  A triangular entrance, with a steep roof leads to a chamber with seats on each side, stone steps down to the spring.

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And this was the little terror who took on our Oscar …quite a sweet dog so long as you are not another entire male!. 

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Nuoro:  Piazza Sebastiano Satta, poet.  The granite blocks have small bronzes representing Nuraghi statues on them.  Nuoro has a lot of Sardinian literary past residents – we’ve not heard of any of them.    

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 The most wonderful tender tuna ever, with a hazelnut crust.  I’ve made sofritto veggies before and had to have another go after this, but mine isn’t as tasty.

 

1202 – Orgosolo Murals

Thursday 20th June 

J walked up hill and into town to buy some more e cigarette supplies, go to the bank and pharmacy for rehydration salts … given how warm it is and how much we are ‘perspiring’, we cannot drink enough water, so half a daily sachet each of salts seems like a good idea.  

Although the Nuoro car park was quiet, it wasn’t pretty, so we headed up a mountain to a parking that was described as shady for lunch and siesta time.  There wasn’t much shade where we could drive a van of Jez’s size, but we lunched on a mound with shade and a breeze.  J napped and I took another layer of fur off Oscar … he does feel the heat.  When I walked around the woods with CO2, I was reminded by how Mussolini believed in ‘organised’ leisure.  This was a massive park with a huge tiled ball area, swings and slides everywhere, 3 natural springs and picnic benches.  All a bit tired now, but still serviceable.

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Lunch in search of shade.

We stopped late afternoon in Orgosolo.  This was bandit territory and a centre of independence; conflict from the local sheep farmers with the nearby crop farmers, conflict and vendettas between rival clans.  One feud over the rich cheiftan’sinheritance in 1903 resulted in the virtual extermination of two families.  Between 1901 and 1954, Orgosolo averaged one murder every two months!!!  From 1953 post war kidnappings started.  All this ‘feeling’ now manifests itself in graffiti all over the town.  The murals may be political (Sardinian independence and world affairs), village life and some are just comic.  We had planned to drive to another lakeside spot, but it was an hour away and 7.00 by now.  A quiet night in the cemetery car park, shared with a chatty French couple and the permanent residents, who were obviously not chatty!

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Happy are the people who don’t need heroes. 

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Love Sardinia, respect the beautiful nature.

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Wanted for the following offences:  attack on the right to education …


1203-1204 – Chilling in Arbatax

Friday 21st – Saturday 22nd June 

We’ve been so hot and sticky, we decided to have one night on an ACSI campsite … it turned into two.  Chores, more admin, the twin tub came out, a major garage reorganisation, winter clothes away etc.  A long sandy beach for dog walking.  And shade :).  Late Friday afternoon (after the siesta), we cycled to Arbatax, known for it’s red rocks.  We had been trying to find out about the Trenino Verde, small railways that go up into the hills … a resident Brit in one of the boat tour shops told us that ALL italian tourist trains are waiting for a political decision … in the meantime the weeds are growing on the tracks.  

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The small sandy beach on the S of Arbatax.  A lovely conversion with a family from the west of the island.

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In the Red Rocks car park … all wearing headphones for the music, even though we couldn’t hear the music, you could spot which were out of time / tone deaf.

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Due to fire risk there are communal BBQ areas on campsites.  Some interest in our Webber Kettle, especially when the lid went on.  But not as much interest as …

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… a half suckling pig.  An hour an half to roast … made our meat look paltry.

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Relaxed days.