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.


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


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.


Start of the Botanical walk down.


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.


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


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!


Happy are the people who don’t need heroes. 






Love Sardinia, respect the beautiful nature.


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.


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.