Four days of Christmas break were a good break from eating! Unlike most people, I took advantage of it to eat light, mainly vegetables and soups! I also managed to catch up with some work in the blog. However, the fact of having interrupted the ‘journey’ left me a bit confused, transported for four days out of my way. And today on the train, as soon as I see the profile of Mount Linas and dell’Arcuentu, I feel like I’m coming home, from where I had interrupted.
The day is beautiful even if cold, our typical winter weather, with clear skies, seems to have finally arrived. I have a little to pedal from the train station of San Gavino to Arbus. After about 12 kilometers, most on a straight line, I arrive at Gonnosfanadiga and I stop by my friend Mario for a coffee before tackling the climb to Arbus. In fact, I decided to avoid the climb from Guspini but to get from the other road, slightly less steep. The ride is very pleasant, especially now that the temperature has risen a bit.
After seven kilometers, most of which uphill, I enter Arbus from the lower part of the country. Shortly thereafter, without wanting to, I find myself at Mariano’s restaurant, who will take care of me all day long. I eat and check into the hotel, on the other side of the village.
I spend the afternoon exploring the village on foot. All ups and downs. In the center, the old houses are well kept, most of them in granite, but also many modern buildings. I descend towards the church of San Sebastiano, with a nice square to the side. Then I turn to go up to one of the high parts. I get to the base of the beautiful pine forest, which offers an incredible view of the mountains surrounding Arbus and the town. From the modern church of Nostra Signora del Rosario, gaudy yellow, I admire the descent of the sun to the west. The colors are spectacular, red tinges all the houses in the village.
After the sunset, I take the opportunity to visit two indoor places. First a beautiful photographic exhibition on the archeology of the area, at the Info Point, close to some archaeological remains incorporated in a fenced yard. The guide Francesco guides me to the discovery (virtual) of the protonuraghe Cugui, just outside the village, all yet to be discovered, surrounded by menhirs, dolmens, burial sites and sacred wells. As I said before, there is still a lot to do in the world of Sardinian archeology. At the end of the evening I visit the Sardinian Knife Museum. In the courtyard there is a giant knife, the heaviest in the world, certified even by the Guinness Book of Records. Inside there is a beautiful exhibition of handmade knives, local and not, many of which executed by the artisan Paolo Pusceddu, who in a video shows the entire production phase of the typical knife, the Arburesa.
Inspired by a red sunset.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
On the evening of my day in Pabillonis I was brought to Arbus for dinner at Sa Lolla restaurant. Mariano, the owner, kindly welcomes us and we are served excellent fish food. Chatting about, Mariano learns about my project, becomes curious, asks me if I already have contacts in Arbus. When I tell him maybe, he immediately tells me “if you have problems do not worry, you’re my guest”, and gives me his phone number.
Ten days later I call him, because in Arbus I have not found any other contact and I need hospitality. When I arrive at the restaurant at lunchtime, there is already a table set for me, with a welcome drink. Mariano welcomes me, happy, sits with me talking, makes me a nice meat antipasto, lamb with tender potatoes, cooked very well by his partner Enrico, also very kind, and a mug of black wine. Then coffee and ammazzacaffè. When I ask Mariano if the afternoon he is busy, and where I will have to take accommodation, he tells me he has booked a hotel, so I can stay in peace. “Unfortunately, it’s on the other side of the country, two kilometers … and it’s all uphill”.
After turning around and working all day, and having dinner at the hotel, I come back to Mariano on foot for an aperitif. Mariano always smiles at me, asks me about my life, he does not talk about himself. He offers me myrtle served with a sprig with fresh myrtle berries, and when I finish it pours me more. Finally, he gives me a beautiful ceramic in the shape of Sardinia to remind me of his place. This is the kind of reception I am receiving. I walk the two kilometers of ascent on foot in the cold, happy to have found a person out of the ordinary. Like his cousine!