Sardinia, Italy

Day 40 – Thursday 03/06
Propriano, Corsica to Alghero, Sardinia – 41kms Total 2081kms

We didn’t get much sleep last night. There was this holiday here and they were setting off fireworks late into the night, we also found the mattresses way too soft, so we only managed about 2 hours.
The ship was pretty good and clean but there was a lot of rocking which combined with lack of sleep made working on the webpage a bit tricky to say the least.
Upon arriving in Porto Torres we found the tourist office closed so we made our way along a busy road to Alghero were we found this very overpriced camping (22 euros pp, 2 euros for 15min wifi and the staff were totally rude) we definitely do not recommend this camping. It’s the nearest one to town.

2010060301

Leaving beautiful Corsica. Click to view larger.

2010060302

The hotel we stayed in last night. Reasonably priced, and very clean.

2010060303

One last view North and the hills we rode through to get to Propriano.

2010060304

Coming into Porto Torres, Sardinia. Click to view larger.

2010060305

Heading South on the Sp 42.

2010060306

About 11kms from Porto Torres we ran into this German with which looked like a homemade ride. He had been on the road for several years.

2010060307

After a while we turned off and got on the tree lined SS291 which runs around the airport of Alghero.

Day 41 – Friday 04/06
Alghero to Bosa – 55kms Total 2136

Woke up around 07:30 and were on the road by 9. We expected a flattish road today but boy were we in for a surprise. We ended up climbing more today than we did in one day in Corsica.
We wound up going up some very tough grades in the midday sun and we were running out of water. But after a while we saw this German family that had stopped on top of a cliff to view the area from the top so we asked them for some water which they were happy to help us. Despite the difficult ride today the views were very nice and we really enjoyed this part of the island.
We got into Bosa and looked around for a camping but no luck we asked some locals and found out that there was a camping but they closed it for this year, so we started to look for a B&B.
Well after about 30 minutes we came across this lady sitting on the sidewalk and asked her if she knew of one and she showed us this really cool place called La Torre di Alice. When we got there this young couple were just leaving on their bicycles and when they showed us the room and agreed on the price they handed us the keys and told us to lock up the place when we leave LOL. No passports or any id’s just a handshake, I thought it might be a joke.
The room was clean and the hosts extremely helpful, needless to say we highly recommend this place.

2010060408

Looking South along the seafront of Alghero.

2010060409

Cute little yellow submarine in the port of Alghero.

2010060410

We stopped at a bar by this little beach a few kilometers outside Alghero for a coffee and sandwich. Looking South we began to realize that we were in for some climbing.

2010060411

We had seen many of these small cement fortifications along the coast.

2010060412

Shortly after leaving the beach front bar (center picture) the climbing began.

2010060413

And as always the views started to get better.

2010060414

Up and up we went.

2010060415

Looking back on the road we had taken.

2010060416

All pumped up from the climbing which was relentless.

2010060417

Some people might consider this torture 🙂

2010060418

To get a perspective of the climbing we did, the small half tunnel we passed earlier is to the left tip of the fence post. See picture below.

2010060419

Zoomed in.

2010060420

And the top is just ahead. Click to view larger.

2010060421

We rode down the SP49 all the way to the sea before we had another good climb before coming into Bosa. This picture is from the top of the second climb with Bosa in the distance.

2010060422

Colorful Bosa with its castle perched on the hilltop behind it.

2010060426

The lovely B&B Torre di Alice straight ahead.

2010060423

We were allowed to store our bikes next to the communal kitchen.

2010060424

Looking back towards the front door. I asked the young man about leaving the place open like this and he answered no one steals here.
By the looks of the neighborhood the police would be the least of the thief’s problems.

Day 42 – Saturday 05/06
Rest day – Bosa

We love this Bosa and this B&B so much we decided to stay another day. The price is right, we have free wifi so we took this opportunity to book our tickets to Palermo for Friday the 11th and now we make plans for our time left in Sardinia. Later in the afternoon we walked around town for ice cream and later in the evening pizza and beers. It is a vacation after-all 😉

2010060427

Heading into town from outside our B&B, we just love these little old back streets.

2010060428

Compared to some other Sardinian towns we’ve visited so far this place is exceptionally well kept and clean.

2010060529

Even at night all the streets were well lit, we never felt worried about our safety here. Highly recommend visiting the town.

Day 43 – Sunday 06/06
Bosa to Arborea – 81kms Total 2217kms

We got on the road at 07:15 and began a real nice climb. By 10:30 we were done with climbing and began a real nice ride down to the sea. The ride was OK, nothing spectacular it isn’t Corsica.
The heat has taken a lot out of us, it seems we still haven’t got used to it yet.
We plan to stay here another day because I have gotten a shoulder/neck pain from today’s ride, I really don’t know how this happened but it’s quite painful and I need to rest. Monique on the other hand is feeling good but wouldn’t say no to another rest day.
We also heard from the neighbors that the beach here is very nice so we’ll check it out tomorrow.

2010060630

Leaving Bosa early in the morning.

2010060631

Shortly after leaving Bosa the climbing began. Click to view larger.

2010060632

The climbing continued all the way to Suni.

2010060633

Looking back on the road we took, just before Suni. Click to view larger.

2010060634

 At Suni we turned off on the SS292 heading South. Right after Suni we came to the village of Tinnura were we saw some of the most beautiful wall murals. Click to view larger.

2010060635

They had painted quite a few building like this. Click to view larger.

2010060636

We have never seen anything like this before, it was a real treat. Click to view larger.

2010060637

We had several more good climbs but after Cuglieri we had this very nice downhill on a new road all the way to Santa Caterina. After Santa Caterina we had one more difficult climb than tit began to get bad. After Riola Sardo, all the way to Oristano, there was garbage everywhere on the side of the road and with the occasional dead animal decomposing.
First time on this tour that we had seen something like this.

Day’s 44 and 45 – Monday and Tuesday 07-08/06
Rest day’s – Arborea

Did pretty much nothing today. We visited the beach but found it very dirty with many flies so we got a bit suspicious about the water quality and moved to the pool which we ended up having it all to ourselves 🙂
Our original plan was to visit Europe’s largest sand dunes on the Southwest cornier of the island but we changed our minds and decided to hang around here for a couple days before making our way to Cagliari to catch the boat for Palermo. If it wasn’t for my shoulder and neck pain we would have had enough time to visit the dunes.

2010060738

Looking North along the beach nearest the camping.

2010060739

More fortifications along the beach.

2010060740

Looking South along the beach the water was shallow but there were a lot of flies so we decided on the camping pool.

2010060741

Now this is more like it, all to ourselves 🙂

2010060742

Monique feeling totally at home.

2010060743

Perfect place to recuperate from shoulder and neck pain. Can you see I was in agony.

2010060744

Had to take a picture of this little guy eyeing us from the distance.

2010060845

Even in the shade it was just too hot to be in the tent.

2010060744a

The good life.

2010060744b

Great sunset on our last evening at this camping.

Day 46 – Wednesday 09/06
Arborea to About 20kms East of Cagliari – cycled 74kms Total 2291kms

What a day, we got on the road at 07:00 and soon after the wind picked up quickly to about 20kph from the south (our direction).  As the day prograssed the wind picked up to about 40kph and we crawled at 10kph. At the town of  Pabillonis we noticed this bicycle shop and needing cycling shoes we checked it out and found Nike Kato III (Monique’s shoes, which Nike has stopped making) and bought a pair each lol, what luck. We had looked for these in Holland because they don’t have laces just three straps and are wide, and Monique is very pleased with them.
We continued on to San Gavino at around 8kph when we decided there was no way we would make our goal for the day like this, so we got the train to Cagliari.
At Cagliari we visited the tourist office and were told the nearest camping was 20km east of town so there we went. Camping is a dump and overpriced.

2010060744c

The view most of the day. Being a head wind we can’t even show the wind strength by the trees.

2010060946

Much better way to deal with the wind conditions.

2010060947

And our bikes nicely tucked away.

Day 47 – Thrusday 10/06
Rest day at the terrible camping.

We did nothing today, we have to wait for the boat which leaves at 19:00 tomorrow.
I asked for a couple of plastic chairs (they had about 20 laying there) but they said no. I went for a beer at the bar and they charged 3 euros for a small beer lol. So we rode 2kms down the road to the mini market and bought large (66cl) beers for 1.50 and sat near the bar drinking them hehe.
We do not recommend this camping. And we will leave a nice review in the Eurocamping website.
They probably will not get better but if we can keep just one customer away we’ve won.

Day 48 – Friday 11/06
Terrible camping to Cagliari – 20kms Total 2311kms

Got out of camp at around 10:00 and headed to Cagliari. When we got to the port ticket office we found out there is a strike in Naples so no boats today. It was extremely difficult to keep my cool because now either we cycle back 20kms to that shithole of a camp or pay for a room.
There was no way we would spend another night at that camping especially if we have to cycle 20kms, so we got a room for the night and hoped that there will be a boat tomorrow.

2010061148

As we got near to Cagliari the nice cycling path began.

2010061149

We had a nice surprise while cycling to Cagliari

2010061150

Easy riding along this boulevard.

2010061151

The beaches were starting to get crowded early on.

2010061152

We had to cycle around this rock as it was a large military base there.

2010061153

We first thought this was our ride to Palermo but we were wrong 🙂 Click to view larger.

2010061154

Cagliari water front boulevard.

Day 49 – Saturday 12/06
Stranded in Cagliari

Had a good nights sleep and this morning we went for a walk to the ticket office to find out if the strike was over.
We found out the strike was over, but the boat would be late coming in and therefore late leaving.
The good ship Toscana (looked like a converted cargo vessel) finally left at 10:30. It is very expensive 1.50 for a small bottle of water. It’s noisy and rattles quite a bit I think these guys should be happy to have a job and not go on strike. The quality of everything seems to be going down the further south we go.

2010061255

The good ship Toscana, nothing compared to the Navigator of the Seas in the previous picture 🙂

Sardinia was a nice island, but not as nice as Corsica. We would like to explore this island more especially the East coast which many say is the nicest. We think it would be nice to combine Corsica and Sardinia for a nice 3 week tour. Food for thought?

Continue on to Sicily.