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.


1192-1197: Last Days in Corsica

1192 – Curving Out of Corte

Tuesday 11th June 2019

We showed, emptied and filled at the campsite.  It had been a lovely haven next to the river to enjoy being back in Jez.  The only two issues with the site, were the price (EUR31 p.n.) and the noise from the river, meaning we had to repeat everything we said!

We headed across the hills from Corte.  Poor James, who elects to drive first, got the rough end of the drive … concentration for him and scenery for me (with some back seat driving thrown in … I can’t help myself!).

We encountered some wild life along the way …

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Out of nowhere, with no dog or shepherd in sight, these careered down the hill at break neck speed across the road, to stop and graze the other side.

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The car that was behind us, was impatient and we don’t know how he hasn’t a sheep head shaped imprint in his bodywork.

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At our coffee stop, we were surrounded by pigs – their gate was no barrier; they went under it!  Obviously these had not yet been taught to read … the orange splodges are our paws and dog on board stickers.  CO2 were not impressed … Corrie quite scared.

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Amazing scenery …

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They were not going at our hedgehog pace, so J pulled over tho let them pass with a cheery wave.

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 The highest road mountain pass in Corsica.

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Evening snuggles.  And yes, I’ve been trying some Rose wines … but I’ll be going back to white or red, as I’m finding them a bit flavourless.


1193 – Being Still (Again)

Wednesday 12th June

We hadn’t planned to stay a second day here, but it was such a lovely campsite.  We did some more laundry and I walked CO2 in the olive groves.

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Lazy watchers on.

 

1194 – Tortoises

Thursday 13th June

We stopped at Europe’s largest (apparently) tortoise sanctuary … I went in and J and CO2 napped.  Apparently there are 1700 species here.  There were certainly species for all around the world and two types of giant.  A real diversity on shell shape and colours.  The way they move and clamber is really quite comic.  But it was verging on hilarious when the omnivore (water is the main habitat) were fed.  They all plopped into the pond which became a maelstrom of swirling water and headed for the pellet and fish platter.  Using only their mouths they climbed into the tray, spraying the food with slimy and water, and attempted to pull a whole fish head back to the pond.  Occasionally one would almost get stuck on the rim of the platter and have to sway back and forth and extend a really loooong leg to give a push over the side.

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Don’t move, i’ll go over you.

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All still and calm in our world, until …

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… food’s this way chaps!

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One of the two Giant species.

1195 – Ajaccio by Bike, Boat and Train

Friday 14th June

Another ACSi campsite (reduced prices out of season), but a 12 km bike ride from Ajaccio.  The campsite advised us to cycle into the town, only 3 km away, and then to get the boat shuttle to Ajaccio.  Fairly cool as we set off, but every now and again, a warm wind would caress us.  It was a forerunner of the heat to come.  The boat worked fine, taking across the bay.  On arrival, J breakfasted … in the shade … it was hotting up.  As we started the walking tour i’d prepared, we spotted the Tourist Petit Train … something we should normally avoid, as surely this is for the elderly and infirm?  Having only just arrived and now wilting, we went for it … the justification being that it would take us out along the coast for a view of the Sanguinaires (islands), which was too far to walk.  we also saw the outside of the building where Napoleon was born.

We then wandered up the Fesch Museum, which if we’d had more time, we would have visited, but we had timed tickets back (2.45, or wait for the 5.45) and needed lunch … in the shade.  We both had salad.  In fact, so did everyone else in the restaurant.  Temperature was now 40C!

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Porticcio where we caught the shuttle to Ajaccio.

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Ajaccio.

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Napoleon dressed as a Roman Emperor with 4 lions at the base.  Interesting that the Roman emperors had statues of themselves done in the guise of Gods …. 

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CO2 made friends with the people in front and behind us on the Petit Train.

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Just to prove we have actually been on one!

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Another Napoleon memorial just outside town.

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The Sanguinaires Islands.  This was also our ice cream stop!

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The Fesch Museum housing the best collection of Italian art on Corsica.  Fesch was obviously an interesting character… Napolean’s uncle and ecclesial and military by turn.  He accompanied Boney through Italy, working his passage as the Quartermaster, amassing art on the way,. Afterwards he re-doned his clerical robes and was apppointed as a Cardinal to Rome.  He persuaded the Pope to attend Napolean’s coronation as Emperor.  But Napoleon, who believed in self made men, took his crown from the hands of the Pope and placed it on his own head.

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The small harbour where we waited for the shuttle back.

 1196 – Filitosa

Saturday 15th June

We spent the morning at Filitosa, possibly the most important megalithic site in Corsica.  It was only discovered in 1946 and has been dated to 3300BC.  Around 1500 menhirs of 2-3 metres height were erected, but i think only about 20 remain.   Many were carved with human faces, armour and weapons.  They may have been designed to ward off the enemy, the Toreens, but were unsuccessful, as many were later used as building materials by the invaders.  The Toreens built circular stone structures which may have been used as temples.  Some of these stone structures are very well preserved.

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The boulders around the site were also amazing, the way the wind and rain had shaped them.  Many really did look like animals.

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And our best girl loves to roll in anything that has come out of any animals bottom, in this case cow dung!  Shampoo and set back at the motorhome!

1197- Father’s Sunday in Sartene

Sunday 16th June

We nearly skipped Sartene as there was no parking in the town.  What I had identified turned out to be a Best Western Hotel :(.  About 1.3km out fo the town was a viewpoint above the cemetery … we stopped for coffee and re-read the guide book … austere, square and stone architecture, with winding narrow alleys.  We hadn’t planned to have lunch but J is a father of 4 and it was Father’s Day!  Another salad as it was too hot for anything else.  Our last night was another ACSI outside Bonnifaccio.

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View above the cemetery.

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Sartene.

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A bit of sausage anyone???

 

 

 

1188-1191: Enjoying ‘Home’

1188 – Home Again!

Friday 7th June 2019

A good night’s sleep in the hotel and I had a luxuriant BATH!  Being an old fashioned establishment, except for the incongruous piece of modern ‘art’ on the wall, the hotel had a deep and wide steel bath.  In I went for a wallow.  J was out with CO2 …. just as well as neither dog can understand my voluntarily getting wet!

We SUSPECTED that the garage was telling porkpie pies about the MH being ready today … but the pressure was on as the insurance company had rung them.  We did KNOW that it would not be ready till the afternoon … so we went for a wander around the town.  Lovely.  Narrow hilly streets leading up the the citadel with a museum.  We didn’t go in … we’re finding increasingly that unless a museum or site is unusual, we can’t be bothered to take turns when CO2 are not welcome.  A super Belvadere – which showed us the entry to a campsite the Tourist Office had recommended for our 7.55m van that took dogs … no way Jose!  A tight turn over a bridge … I later read reviews and vans of 7m had struggled.  We will only just have got Jez back .. don’t want another issue!  So Park4Night out and we routed to 4 campsites to check them out.  2 no dogs and 2 OK.  Plan for tonight … if we get Jez back!  

Corte is a gem.  Beautiful and historic.  Pascal Paoli retuned here after exile and made Corte his seat of Goverment from 1755-1769, the first Corsican printing press and the first University.  However, in 1768, France bought Corsica from the Genoese and Corte lost its status. The university was closed and only reopened in 1981.  The town has a strong sense of independence – we noticed a lot of signs in Italian … no … the Corsican language is based on Italian.  Lots of Graffiti about independece and hating the French.  The University, named the Pascal Paoli, is the driving force behind the resurrection and preservation of Corsican as a language. 

Whilst out and about, I took a call from Europcar … just checking we’d not absconded with the hire car.  Although RAC Commercial on behalf of Fiat Assist had extended, and extended several times, our keeping the car, it transpires they had not told Europcar!

A trip to the supermarche for lunch which we ate in in the car park, whilst we waited for 2.00 and the garage to open up after lunch.  No answer … no answer.  Here we go again.  do we stay or do we go?  We elected to drive back down to Bastia … at least we’d be closer if Jez were to be ready.  A call en route … yay… just finished ‘this minute!’  Interesting how the garage had told the insurance they were in regular contact with us … they’ve not rung us once!!!  Anyway … hot foot to pay and then drive around the corner to the commercial vehicle yard to get Jez.  Unloaded car into van.  Convoy to Bastia airport to drop car and back up to the hills to one of the campsites we’d inspected earlier.  A lovely shady river side spot.  We’re HOME AGAIN.

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OK… local map and that’s the recommended campsite down there … too tight a turn!

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Napoleon and his brother were born in this house, according to the sign!!!  Amazing more wasn’t made of it.

IMG 3138Whilst on a water and soft refreshments spot(!), a convoy of MGs drove through the town. Many were right hand drive but Belgium and Swiss plates.

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Home at last.  It’s only been 16 nights!

 

1189 –  Chill

Saturday 8th June

We chilled and did admin.  I discovered some great off lead walking up hill!

 

1190 – Relentless Rastonica Gorge

Sunday 9th June

We sallied forth with the bikes and the Os-car.  Flask of coffee and picnic on board.  We’d been told, by the Tourist Office, that the valley road was not suitable for motorhomes.  We would have been fine for the first 6km, as there was a campsite nestled amongst the trees and bend in the river.  Thereafter, it would have been impassable to us.  We have to think about these things again now that we are back in Jez.  What no one had told us, is how relentlessly steep and uphill all the way it was.  I was in full Pleasure Mode (full power) and 1st gear for a good chunk of it.  At one point a French car slowed to let me continue the ascent, he then gave me a clap … he’d no idea we had no intention of making it to the end or that I was using full power.

But the scenery was stunning.  I couldn’t take any pix one the way up, or I’d not have got going again!  We kept going till a cafe as J deserved a cold beer … their lunch menu was light and not extortionate, so the picnic was aborted!   We didnt make it all the way along the valley to the car park; we’d done enough with 10k uphill!  It was a super easy plain sailing all the way down.

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Spot the fish head.

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The pics really don’t do the scenery justice.  The guide book described it as the most attractive gorge… certainly the best we’ve seen so far.

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Hot work. 

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1191 – Plans Change

Monday 10th June

We’d planned to walk the Travignano Valley; footpath only.  But the forecast was low 30C … we aborted this idea as far too much like hard work in this heat and humidity.  Especially as the first 1.5 km would have been along the road with two over excited dogs.  As well as water for us, we have to carry even more for CO2, making heavy back packs.  So we did another chill down / admin day.  These seem to be a bit of a feature now it is much warmer.  We did clamber up steps to the town to find the cash point as the campsite didn’t take cards.  J had another deserved cold beer and we both had ice cream.  A couple of typically Corsican flavours are Chestnut (mountains are covered in Chestnut trees) and fig.  Fig jam is also served like quince jelly, as a side to cheese.

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Being a bridge man, J was able to inform me that his was cable stay and suspension.

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I’m a woman, what’s your super power?  But is it symbolic that it was on bin?

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Want!