I leave with the 9.40 ferry to Calasetta, the sea is calm and the day is sunny. Slowly the island of Sant’Antioco is approaching. I will spend two days here, and I cannot wait to explore it by bike. Yesterday my day of solitude was interrupted by a good fortuitous meeting with the two Lorenzi. Today, however, I will fight to stay alone all day, since I have no contacts here.
I arrive at Calasetta, disembark and pedal along the port. I climb a steep street and I find myself in the beautiful square of the Town Hall. Around, the houses are all well kept, almost all white with light blue elements, it seems to be in Greece. Many are undergoing restructuring. There are several workers crossing scaffolding probably refurbishing the houses for the coming summer. I cycle up to the Savoy tower, perched on the volcanic red rocks, and I contemplate the beach of Sottotorre, or Caletta, where I remember being as a kid. Also here as in Carloforte a colony of Tabarchini landed, one can feel the air of Liguria.
I decide to stop at Whim Cafe, recommended by a friend, where I work to my blog. After talking to the bar guy, I ask to leave the bags in custody so that I can take a ride on the bike. Unfortunately, the weather has ruined a lot, a strong mistral has started to blow and it begins to drizzle. I do not give up. I leave the bags and put myself on the saddle.
I cycle along the west coast, passing all the beaches, the Salina, Grande beach, then the coast in front of the rock of Mangiabarche with the small lighthouse above. The day has definitely worsened, the black sky, the strong wind, the waves that mount on the lighthouse and on the rocks, the rain falling down. It seems to be in Brittany instead of in Sardinia! I continue along a part of volcanic cliffs overlooking the sea, the cliff Maccari. I decide to go further. The wind is strong. I get to the border with the municipal territory of Sant’Antioco, up to the beach of Cala Lunga. A desert spot. Surreal silence. I crouch behind a rock to shelter from the wind and eat my stuffed sandwiches. I stay here for a while, fully enjoying the solitude.
The climb to return from Cala Lunga is deadly. I’m forced to go zig-zag! I go back from an internal road, which passes through fields, where flocks of sheep graze, then some vineyards, planted on the sand, it seems that even here they make a type of Carignano wine, and volcanic rocks on all sides, eroded by atmospheric agents, forming strange inlets that look like small caves. I go back to the Whim Cafe to take the bags and not having found hospitality, I make my way towards Sant’Antioco, passing from the village of Cussorgia, known for the surrounding beaches, an old train station, now in disuse, and some archaeological sites. I leave the municipal territory of Calasetta, in total solitude.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Interrupted solitude 1: a lady approaches me on the ferry to Calasetta. From the accent I understand that she is not Sardinian. “Are you the one who is touring Sardinia by bike? I saw you on TV “. Wow, I think, the news is spreading even on mainland’. Ah, notoriety (1). The lady comes from northern Italy, she tells me that she actually has lived here in Carloforte for a few years. With her husband they decided to move here and they did not regret it. “Many can not live here, because of isolation, but we are happy”. There are those who leave from Sardinia, there are those who come to us, not only, in one of its islets!
Interrupted solitude 2: when I arrive in Sant’Antioco, Romina welcomes me, the receptionist of the I Colori hotel, where I am a guest of Roberto who has answered my call for hospitality on Facebook. Romina makes me feel like a star, she asks me to take pictures, and even a video of my arrival. Ah, notoriety (2). After a bit of talk, I return to my solitude … to quote a book by Bohumil Hrabal (which I had difficulty reading!) … a very noisy solitude!