I thought today the whole route was flat, but at the exit of Porto Ottiolu a deadly climb awaits me to overcome the hill that separates me from the territory of San Teodoro! I continue with resignation but as soon as I pass the hill, placed my sticker on the sign indicating the beginning of the municipal territory, the equally steep descent begins, between curves surrounded by yellow brooms in bloom, in contrast with today’s gray and cloudy sky.
I arrive in San Teodoro and cycle through the modern village, residential houses, and then the centre, full of commercial activities. In summer you can hardly walk away from the bustle of vacationers, and I’m happy to be here in a somewhat quieter time. I get to the Town Hall where the delegate of culture Margherita and the councilor for tourism Marcello warmly welcome me, giving me the pennant and a beautiful photo book as a gift (now I have collected so many and sent them to Cagliari that my parents’ shop is being transformed in a Sardinian library!)
With Margherita we take the car to visit some places on the coast. First the beautiful beach of Cala Suaraccia, bordered by a beautiful pine forest, from which the island of Tavolara always appears closer to me than in recent days. Here we take a coffee at Gigi’s kiosk, and then leave for the Coda Cavallo (Horsetail) cape, so called because of its elongated shape. We climb on the promontory on which there are summer stone houses, well inserted in the natural context of the place, and from here we can admire the whole coastal panorama, including the islands, Tavolara, Molara, Molarotto and the Proratora or Forno (Oven) Island (so called because one side of the island is excavated so that it looks like the mouth of an oven.)
We then continue to Cala Brandinchi but unfortunately the access road is closed for work. We go around the area of lagoons, part of the marine protected area of Tavolara and we arrive at another beach not far away, Lu Impostu, which with today’s weather is displaying absolutely unusual colors, on the light blue-gray. From here Margherita takes me to see a private home of some friends of hers, overlooking the sea, and designed by the architect Lonel Shein, a pupil of Le Corbusier, and once belonged to a French psychiatrist. The place is magical, especially now that there is not much tourist movement.
We return to the centre passing by the lagoon, and I have just enough time to eat a sandwich in a bar in the center, before meeting Margherita again at the middle school, where the students are waiting for us … this time the meeting very animated given the exuberance of some students! Nevertheless, it is always a pleasure to convey to young people the concepts of freedom, eco-sustainable travel and the achievement of their dreams and goals through methodical work and dedication.
I finally head to the Sandalyon hotel, where a friend works, Valentina, whom I met many years ago at a Bosan New Year’s Eve, and with whom we stayed in touch. Here I can work a little and then I can take a tour to visit La Cinta beach. On my return, I meet another cyclist, Mike, an American, who tells me he was fired (he was a doctor) and decided to travel by bicycle. He has been touring Europe for months, and will eventually meet his wife in Prague, where their daughter lives and works. We end up having dinner together, I let him taste some local white wine and mirto liquor, and I listen to his adventures!
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
San Teodoro is a place of quality music. Years ago, a beautiful jazz festival was held, Uanciù Free San Teodoro Jazz, curated by the drummer and friend Carlo Sezzi, in which I played in 2007 with a beautiful project created by pianist Maurizio Pulina. This festival no longer exists but San Teodoro has continued to believe in jazz, and since 2016 there is the San Teodoro Jazz Festival, created by clarinetist Matteo Pastorino who has been living in Paris for years. And to make matters even better, since 2015 San Teodoro is part of the municipalities that host a stage for Paolo Fresu’s Time in Jazz Festival, which last year ended with a concert of Fresu himself playing on a boat in the Lagoon.