(When you think that the worst of the journey in terms of climate and climbs has passed.) Today’s journey is mortal to say the least. Not only for the last uphill stretch, very hard, but above all for the heat, 36 degrees. I enjoy the descent from Osilo and then ascend towards the beautiful hamlet of Santa Vittoria, with the church of the same name. Pass through limestone and yellowish sandstones of the Miocene and through the hamlet (still Osilo) of San Lorenzo, located in the middle of what is called Valle dei Mulini (Mills Valley). I stop to look at an old building that still houses a beautiful wooden mill wheel. I continue to dive towards the valley and from here on it will be all uphill, until I reach the last deadly stretch before Sennori.
I arrive at Gavino’s house, Angelo’s father, an Erasmus student who stayed at my home in Birmingham for some time. The weather does not allow any visits. I have lunch with Gavino and then, after a siesta in sweat, I get to work. At 7 pm the sky is still veiled, African, sticky air, 32 degrees. I do go out anyway to go around the village looking for something to see.
Sennori is set among two rocky ridges. I struggle to visit it because, apart from the main winding road, the rest are all steep climbs (and fortunately sometimes even descents!). I get to the city park where a music school concert is taking place. While rock songs invade the valley where the park is located, I climb some steps that flank the yellow sandstones and reach a square where old quarries were. From here you can see the village below, the city gardens, the village of Sorso even lower and down to the sea of the Gulf of Asinara. In these parts there are also some domus de janas, but I don’t look for them well enough and I don’t find them, maybe they are just where the concert is being held.
I take ups and downs in cobbled streets, I pass some beautiful buildings, the two main churches, San Basilio, then Santa Croce, and back to the main street, where there is a beautiful stone fountain. I dine in a local restaurant and then go to a viewpoint called La Scala because there is a staircase that descends steeply into the valley. On the lookout there are several stone statues, I have seen several of them also in other parts of the village, and I discover that here too a sculpture symposium was held (as already seen in Teulada and Buddusò) of which donations from the artists remain. Then I pass the beautiful war memorial located in a very panoramic square and coming home I bump into Via Sebastiano Dessanai … my grandfather, even if they have forgotten the y!
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
List of deadly uphills (not necessarily in order of hardness)
1) San Vito – Villassalto 10 km
2) Siniscola – Sant’Anna 10 km
3) San Lorenzo di Osilo – Sennori
4) Triei – Talana 6 km
5) Buggerru – Iglesias various traits, especially Acquaresi
6) last kilometer to Ollolai
7) last 500 meters to Nughedu Santa Vittoria
8) last kilometers to Arzana
9) Escalaplano – Perdasdefogu
10) Gairo Taquisara climb
Then there are the impossible climbs:
1) stretch in the internal street Luogosanto – Sant’Antonio di Gallura (had to zig zag)
2) Bortigiadas up the wind farm (only point where I had to get off the bike and push)
3) stretch in the internal road Sestu – Sinnai (the only point my trip companions for this bit pushed me!)
4) stretch in the internal road Cala Lunga, Sant’Antioco (had to zig zag)
This is a simplification … there are many others, very hard, more or less at every stage … one day I will make an exhaustive list!