Just back yesterday from a memorable weeklong trip to Sardinia. We flew into Cagliari via Gerona in northern spain on a couple of penny flights with Ryanair from the UK. Cagliari is the principle town of Sardinias southernmost region and has some fine architecture, some of it built at the behest of Mussolini, the WWII Italian dictator. It's a millionaire's playground; we saw a collection of beautiful vintage Bugatti race cars on the seafront, next to the biggest yacht I've ever seen.
On our way out of town to find a spot to pitch the tent, we came across a free outdoor concert. Mayday week is fiesta time in Cagliari, and there was also a yacht racing regatta going on. Sunday all the shops were closed, and we were glad we'd brought some fresh food with us from home. We walked across the city taking in the Bastia, which gave fine views all around.
When we reached the outer ring road, we put out a thumb and picked up a lift to Suelli, around 60km north of Cagliari, and spent the night in a tumbledown farmhouse outside Sisini a few kilometer's walk away.
Monday mornng we walked to Senorbi and picked up the steam train to Isili.
Just outside the town we came across our first Nuaghe site, a 6000 year old stone structure which was probably a fortified farmhouse. Working our way across country, we were treated to a riot of meadow flowers and crop fields bordered by vicious thorn hedges which had to be circumvented. As we climbed the mountain towards the wind generators, the scrub became increasingly dense and difficult to work through, I was concerned for the thermarests strapped to side of my pack. I'd advise taking a large capacity thornproof pack which can contain your sleeping pad inside if you follow in our footsteps! Eventaully, we arrived at a well with a stunning view onto the interior mountain ranges of central Sardinia, and camped naxt to the drinking troughs built for the flocks of sheep we'd seen and heard (they all wear bells) during the day.
Having discovered the arduous nature of the scrub vegetation (it bites!) we hitch hiked up to Seui and caught a series of buses which took us over incredible tortuous mountain roads.
and down to the coast at Tortoli. We walked to Arbataxax and found a deseted beach to camp next to.
Hiking up the coast was a fantastic experience. Mile after mile of empty beaches backed by Pine trees and saltmarsh lagoons. With a mixture of beachwalking, bus hopping, and hitch hiking we spent a blissful three days living off bread, olives, tomatoes, sheese and choritzo sausage as we marvelled at the tranquil unspoilt nature of the coast with it's stunning views into the mountains.
Saturday came all too soon and we hiked the last six kliks into Olbia airport to get a cheap flight home with Jet2.com
Sardinia is a great place, like Spain was 30 years ago. Undeveloped, tranquil, friendly helpful locals, and the warm mediteranean sea all around. We'll be going back for more, probably with a motorcycle.