Today’s route is long and steadily uphill. The weather has once again changed and the day is gray with overcast sky. But I pedal with pleasure, slowly approaching the Monti di Alà, a granite complex that exceeds 1000 meters in its upper part, and which houses an important wind turbine plant.
I get to the Town Hall where the Mayor Francesco is waiting for me. After a coffee and leaving my luggage at the San Lorenzo hotel, right in the historic center, Francesco takes me around to show me the area, while he tells me some facts about this village.
We are in the area called Monte Acuto, which borders with the Nuorese, but the characteristics are still those of Gallura: the granite, which is still quarried, despite the activities have decreased a lot; the quality cork, extracted from the numerous oaks of which the territory is rich.
Francesco also talks to me about the important resource of wind turbines, a series of cycling routes that have been built, and the economy that is created in the area when the Rally of Sardinia and the WRC, the World Rally Championship, passes here, of which they also told me in Telti and Monti.
For lunch I return to the hotel where the owner Mario, an expert cook, gives me a delicious lunch. In the afternoon I get back on my bike to visit the Nuragic site of Sos Nurattolos. Along the way I stop at the country church of San Francesco, where cows graze around peacefully, then I get back in the saddle and slowly climb … and climb … and climb … until I reach the top of the mountain where the wind turbines stand majestically, which sound, though not strong, makes an impression. From here on the view is breathtaking. The village far below, and the view that sweeps up to the Nuorese mountains.
From here I have to continue along a small concrete road that first descends a lot, and then rises steeply for quite a while. I get behind an imposing rock complex. And here is the site reception, closed, but where panels show me at least four important archaeological structures to see. I leave the bike here and follow a beaten path on the rock, which takes me right to the base of the rocks.
Incredible granite forms. Absolute silence, wind and gray sky. A big bird on a peak. It rises in flight, a huge wingspan, it is an eagle, maybe a golden one. I walk among the rocks and pass all the archaeological structures: the sacred well, a megaron temple and huts. I stay here for a while in contemplation.
Once back in the village I visit the historic center, all in granite. I am struck by a beautiful little building, tall, Palazzo Corda, called ‘castle’, with a beautiful mural depicting a looting. I walk through the old buildings, I cross some old fountains, one from 1901. I return to the hotel where Mario treats me very well for dinner and I can go to bed early.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
5 senses, 5 things
2 Hearing: the sound of my ukulele; church bells; the organ of the Sorradile church; the voices of the singers; the launeddas
3 Smell: the wet undergrowth; pecorino cheese; the eucalyptus trees by the sea; helichrysum; the brooms in bloom
4 Touch: the strings of my ukulele; the roughness of granite; the threads of byssus; the cold sea water; the raw cork
5 Taste: the various pecorino cheeses; the various sausages; the various cannonau and vermentini; thistle honey; raw asparagus