Today’s journey is in a drained territory, all in plan for about ten kilometers. With Monte Arci always in sight, I arrive in Marrubiu and I am welcomed by my contact Giorgio Spiga, a cyclist who has been following my project for some time.
We are greeted at the Town Hall by Mayor Andrea and the Councilor Raffaele, who take us straight away to visit the village. The square in front of the library has a beautiful basalt sculpture representing the reading tree, then we take a tour inside the library, rich in volumes and a large section dedicated to Sardinia, where I also find the book of poems by my great-grandfather Pasquale Dessanai.
To my surprise, Giorgio takes me to Bicciu’s Bike, a super professional bicycle shop, where Fabrizio will give a complete set-up to my bike! Before lunch another big surprise: I leave the luggage at the bnb Ape Regina managed by Mauro and find a double bass, by pure chance Mauro was trying to learn to play it. I cannot resist the temptation and I play it for a while, the first time I touch a double bass for about two months, a beautiful feeling!
Lunch at Gesuina and Giovanni’s home, two uncles almost ninety years of a friend, who treat me like their nephew, I can even take a nap after lunch!
In the afternoon, Giorgio takes me by car to the slopes of Monte Arci, passing by the Terre di Ossidiana vineyards, to the beautiful church of Santa Maria di Zuradili, where the Ossidiana Bike mountain bike team train. The cyclists arrive slowly, Lorenzo and Giorgia, very young and then many others who greet me before starting the ups and downs the hill.
Here we meet Andrea Piras, director of the Civic School of Music, friend and double bass player, with whom we pay a visit to the museum house of Is Bangius, which contains an exhibition of objects from the past as well as a collection of archaeological finds from the ruins of a beautiful center Roman spa right next door (from which the locality takes its name … The Baths).
At the end of the evening we go to the premises of the Civic School of Music, a reality that has reached the 450 members thanks to the good work of Andrea , also from many neighboring municipalities, and I can play a bit on an ancient piano carefully restored.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
My biggest fear before embarking on this venture was to spend the days trapped in the bars of Sardinia with people who would never understand my project. The reality, however, is that this apocalyptic alcohol scenario has never materialized, but for strange laws of attraction I have been approached only by similar and sensitive people.
Giorgio, 48, is a passionate cyclist, but first of all he is a dreamer, like me. During our day around Marrubiu Giorgio tells me about his cycling adventures. Trips in solitary for the pleasure of exploring new routes in Sardinia. “Today I’m going to Olbia” … and from Marrubiu by mountain bike, mainly on unpaved roads, through nature, with a minimum baggage, for a few days. Giorgio has created the MyLand project, a series of thematic cycling itineraries in Sardinia, to intercept not only natural but also archaeological and cultural beauties. And then he tells me about his ultra-pedaling, even at night. But also the marathons and ultramaratone that he ran. Finally, he tells me of the dream of creating new itineraries that will touch all the ancient and millennial trees of Sardinia. What a dream! But all this is his second life, the first being an architect at the ASPAL (Sardinian Agency for Active Labor Policies).
After having taken me around all day, we end the evening in the ice-cream shop Il Pino, run by his brother Steccio, a special, artistic place, which I like only for the fact of having bookcases full of books. Before an aperitivo we start to think about my route. I asked Giorgio to help me find the right roads in some mangy part of the itinerary. He knows all the areas, and thanks to his experience with GPS navigation applications he manages to show me all the best roads. We have been in business for hours. We are both tired. We stop. Not to dream though.