I leave early from Triei, today a long and hard route awaits me, on a cloudy day. I cycle along a stretch of plain, along an internal road that turns off track for a while. I take it calmly. For a stretch I go along the Rio Pramaera, which ends its course right next to Lotzorai, after having dug the granite around, and the scenery in some places reminds me of the 125 road in the stretch of Campuomu that I traveled in my day in Burcei. After a slow climb through increasingly rugged hills, I reach the base of the mountains, and from here the real climb begins, and it’s longer and harder than I thought!
I resign myself and climb slowly. The view becomes more and more breathtaking, and I start to see Talana in the opposite mountain. I never arrive. A bit the same feeling as the climb to Villasalto. This enters the top ten of climbs!
I finally arrive at Talana, and like so many mountain villages, I still have to climb a lot before arriving in the centre! In the Municipality, next to the beautiful church of Santa Marta, the Mayor Franco, Councilor Sergio and another Franco, a guide, with whom I will visit the territory, welcome me. We get on the 4×4 vehicle and drive on the mountains behind the village. The sky is completely covered, and we literally enter the clouds, which surround Mount Mundugia. We pass a giant sculpture of the four Moors (Sardinian flag), and we are on the plateau. Unfortunately, the view towards the sea and the mountains of Baunei is not clear, but they assure me that from here, on clear days, the view is breathtaking.
We arrive at the beautiful Nuraghe Bau ‘and tanca, in the middle of the plateau, a spectral landscape today. Nearby is also a tomb of the giants, near a picnic area where a stream passes by, with crystal clear water. We return to Talana making a long tour and passing by Villanova Strisaili and Villagrande Strisaili.
After a lunch of delicious meat, we take a tour of the historic center of the town, full of characteristic views, old stone houses and narrow alleys. We resume the car to take the road that goes towards Villagrande Strisaili, which however is interrupted by an important landslide. We arrive as far as we can, and from here we can admire the valley that separates us from the village, with Monte Carcangiu, where a series of waterfalls in the granite walls launch into a very narrow valley. They tell me that in these slopes, with no escape route, they locked up the billygoats when the female goats were in heat.
When we return, I head to the park next to the sports field, in a new area of the village, where I tell my adventure first to small children and parents, amidst the games, and then to the older kids who have just finished a football training session and who are all around me, in the center of the field, listening. One of them takes out a harmonica and surprises me with a Sardinian dance, which I immediately follow on the ukulele. I finish the evening at dinner with the Mayor Franco who tells me about the disappeared village of Mannorri.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Mannorri was an old village between Talana and Urzulei, now disappeared. According to legend, but also the stories of the elders of Urzulei, it was a terrible feud to exterminate most of the inhabitants. Everything started from the love between the young Giuanni, of unpleasant appearance, so much to be described as an istria (barn owl), also called ‘indentiu’ because he was born already with his teeth, an omen of misfortune. Giuanni fell in love with Sa Bella de Mannorri (the beauty of Mannorri) who however was in love with a foreigner, a man from Orgosolo who took his livestock to graze in these areas.
During the Sardinian dances on the occasion of a fiesta, Giuanni Indentiu, in an attack of jealousy, killed his rival who was also there. This started the endless feud that ended with many deaths and the abandonment of the village by the few survivors, towards Talana, Urzulei and other neighboring villages of Ogliastra. Of Mannorri only very few remains are visible now, and a new church was built near the remains of the old one.