Up , down and sideways in Sardinia, the latter events

We didn’t quite stay parked at the sofa in our apartment. The Sunday came, and we needed to be up and running, since we still had some hiking to do.

For the last walk of the holiday, we decided to go to the coast. After all, Sardinia is an island, and the coast usually is rather important part of a place like that. We were aiming for the Cala Goloritze, one of the more famous beaches of the island. There was again a nicely challenging black walk leading there, from the plateau, close to the village of Baunei.

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My new friends. They had very interesting views on the world politics.

Off we were again, accompanied by a very nice sunshine, heading down a narrow rocky path. At some point, we stepped aside of the route. Which was not difficult, there are quite some trails left by sheep and other animals. It took a while until we noticed that we were not heading for the right direction anymore. That is an interesting moment, when you are walking out there, without a topographic map, equipped only with the route description of your small red book.

Nevertheless we continued to walk, knowing that if we kept the direction parallel to the shoreline, we were bound to hit a road, leading to the edge of the cliff. After a few kilometers of wandering, we indeed did find a road, and got to the cliff with open view over the deep blue Mediterranean, and the stone peak of Goloritze. The trail leading down to the beach  started as steep gravel slope, which we were able to glide down. Our hike carried on in the bottom of the gorge, formed by a small river.

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Even though we both love mountains, I have to admit, it was a very beautiful walk. The trail was partially washed away by the stream, leaving behind cracks and rocky terrain. We passed caves, and ages old oak trees, creating covered and humid areas, where also pigs seemed to like spending time.  The final descent to the beach was steep and required some scrambling, since the stairs had been washed away. We did manage to get down to the beach of white sand and blue water, in the shadow of that huge stone. I took the opportunity to walk to the water, barefoot. Waffle had a moment of insanity and went for a swim. In the Mediterranean in December.

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These guys were very brave and curious.

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The short days of winter forced us to leave the beach again, we wanted to get down from the most narrow mountain roads before dark. Our car was waiting somewhere, about 400 meters higher, and the climb was following the same stream, we came down from. Half way to the ascend the rain came, not just a nice, light drizzle, but a descent rain, soaking us within 10 minutes. Warm car has seldom felt so nice a place to be in. On the way to the hotel, we stopped by a hut selling fresh nougat in Baunei. I think we deserved it. After such a soaking.

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The rain turned out to be a fierce thunder storm. It just kept bounding on the island, drowning it with heavy rainfall. During the night, the lightnings lit the whole ground so bright, you could count the leaves on the orange trees. The roads started to flood.

The thing was, we had our flight the next morning bit past 10, leaving from the other side of the island. The rain was still heavy at around 2 in the morning, and we were getting nervous. If it had rained so badly in the mountain pass, there would likely be landslides, cutting our road off. Since we could not sleep from all the worrying, we decided to get on going at 4 in the morning.

We had six hours to make the journey of 3 hours. Still we were not too confident. The first peace of road looked more like a river. It was buried under a good 30 cm of water, we just hoped that our small car could do it, and that there were no underlying surprises.

We were in luck, the mountains were almost dry, and the road was open. The visibility was poor though, the clouds were low, and sometimes the mist so thick we could hardly see 10 meters ahead. Even the crazy Italian drivers were slowing down.  After all we managed to get back to Alghero with some time to spare. And what a good thing it was! We went to a close by beach to stretch our legs, and captured a magnificent sunrise over the island, sided by the still raging thunder. That I call an ending for a holiday!

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Sunshine on the left, thunderstorm on the right.

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All in all, Sardinia was a pleasant surprise. I was not expecting much, since everybody keeps talking how Corsica is the place to be, if you love hiking. And Google image search on Sardinia mainly shows beaches, almost looks like there are no mountains what so ever in that island. But if you are a hiker. Go there! If you want to see further evidence, that more than just beaches can be found, go check our Flickr!

 

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You can never have too many pictures of a beautiful sunrise!

 

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