I go up the hill and approach you Esporlatu, in the shadow of the mountains that surround you, observed from the castle of your neighbors, while some of your inhabitants dart by car next to me, a little too close.
I enter you Esporlatu, along your main artery, skirting a small park with two monuments, the first in trachyte, the other in granite. I lean over the railing. The view ranges over most of the Nuoro area, Monte Gonare, the white limestones of the Supramonte, the Orgosolo mounts and the Gennargentu.
Here, I get to an old dry fountain, and I place my sticker on it, a little memory of my journey for you. And beyond the fountain a playground for children, are there any?
Your main road stops at the Town Hall. From here on the right you go up to your only church, San Gavino, now modernized although medieval, of trachyte. On the left, a street goes down into your bowels, new houses, old houses, collapsed houses, a modern square.
From every corner, the eyes of the neighbors’ castle look at you.
I cycle in you again, to be sure I have not left anything out, and I leave you as I entered, in silence. I salute you, observing the vegetable gardens on your periphery as yet another column of smoke, the summer plague of these areas, stands out in the air from the far end of the Ottana plain.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
I stop at a corner to photograph the detail of a facade. A lady dressed all in black, short, with crooked legs, one hand on the stick, the other clinging to the gates and railings on the roadside, is walking very slowly along the steep ascent.
I shout to her from afar “do you need help madam?” No reply. I approach her. I ask again “do you need help madam?”. She looks at me but no answer. By now I am almost on her. “Do you need help madam?” She replies in Sardinian. Incomprehensible to my ears. I ask her “what?” and she repeats it to me, in Sardinian again. I do not understand. Pretending nothing I say “it’s too hot today, isn’t it?”. Maybe now she has understood and she answers me in a very rough Italian “yes very hot”. I say “it is because of all these fires”. And she answers me again in Sardinian. I do not understand. “Then, do you need help to walk up the hill?”, and she says “no, no, I can manage”. I say goodbye and go forward struggling, along this terrible climb.