Today’s route is fascinating despite the dullness of the day. I pedal parallel to the mountains where rocky stretches alternate with dense vegetation, observing on my left the valley of Lake Mulargia and the Flumendosa river.
A quick descent leads me to the village, Santu ‘Asili’ e Monti as indicated by the sign, San Basilio of the mountains, given its position close to a high hill / mountain. Here I have no contacts yet and I decide to book a b&b to spend the day alone and in peace.
But a friend I asked for a contact told me to go to the Town Hall and look for the Mayor anyway. When I arrive at the Town Hall I manage to find Mayor Albino, who knew nothing of my arrival. In a hurry he looks for someone to accompany me to see something in the village.
I am in the hands of the municipal worker Giuseppe. Once in the car, the first stop is on the top of the Pitz’e Pranu hill, where the modern church of Santa Barbara stands in the middle of a vast pine forest. We arrive at the buildings of a restaurant, from whose terraces the view sweeps up to the Campidano, on this very grey day.
Back to the village we enter the vegetation of some lands to see the Bau Crabas sacred well. At the bottom of the stairs there is the water illuminated by a little light that enters from the collapsed vault.
We head back to the center of San Basilio, where the parish church of San Pietro is located, from the end of the sixteenth century, with a sober facade rebuilt over the centuries and whose entrance is preceded by a white staircase that follows the colours of the stone used to build the church.
But the most fascinating location is the one that gives the village its name, the ancient church of San Basilio Martire. Under the current church are the remains of the Greek Byzantine monastery of the Basilian monks which in turn stands on ancient Roman spa buildings. The ruins of the baths are scattered a little everywhere and make this place interesting for the level of historical stratifications that can be observed here.
Unfortunately today I am unable to visit one of the iconic places of this municipality, the Sardinia Radio Telescope, an avant-garde radio telescope located in Pranu ‘e sànguni, which I managed to see in the now distant day in Silius, a neighbouring municipality.
The last stop of the day is … in Senorbì, where I will be in a few days time. Unfortunately here in the village there is nowhere to buy food for lunch and dinner, and Giuseppe is kind and takes me to the nearest village to get supplies.
Be-beep, be-beep yeah!
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
The mayor Albino is furious and does not understand why the other mayors in the area have not warned him of my project and my arrival here. When I told him that I had sent an email to the municipality some time ago to announce my passage, he gets even more heated “what ??? email?? Forget it!! You should have called me !! ”
To realise the uselessness of my modus operandi was a slow process that lasted as long as this journey. It was also a job that took me a lot of time. Sending emails to all the municipalities about a month before my arrival meant that more or less every day I had to personalise the letter, find the email addresses of the municipality (often three or four, councillors, protocol, mayor, certified e-mail address, etc. ) and finally send everything with the right attachments.
So the reaction of some (indeed many!) administrators almost made me feel guilty for using a method of communication that simply does not work in Sardinia … email.
The beeps that formed the basis of today’s sound fragment are those of an unattached seat belt. Another “classic” of this trip. In contrast to my eco-sustainable way of traveling, by bicycle, there is the use of the cars of my hosts to reach the places to visit. And that was great, otherwise I would have certainly lost 60-80% of what I saw on this trip across Sardinia.
Often these journeys were accompanied by the beep beep of the unfastened belt. Always that of the driver, because instead I always fastened it despite being constantly told “leave it, there’s no need!”
So I listened to many explanations about places, stories, legends, anecdotes, to the sound of the beep beep. Once a huge Beatles fan discovered that I was too so he put on the radio only songs of the fab four, a good half hour to the sound of be-beep be-beep … however not that of Drive My Car but of the damn unfastened belts!