The vice Mayor of Perdaxius Giacomo sends me a message early in the morning ‘do you travel with this weather??’ Last night a frightening wind rose, it’s raining and a weather alert has been dispatched for the next two days. But I have to travel anyway. I am used to 11 years of almost daily cycling in England. So I leave Carbonia dressed up with my waterproof equipment. I cycle through Serbariu, the old part of Carbonia, and then start the slow ascent to Perdaxius.
Luckily I have the wind on my back for most of the time, so strong that in some points of climb it helps me! I arrive at Perdaxius. I miss the entrance sign. Today is Sunday and the village is deserted, even more so with this awful weather. I get to the Town Hall and shelter under the trees of the surrounding square. Shortly after, the councilor Anna arrives with her friend Francesca, and then also Giacomo. The first obligatory stop is the bar, for a coffee. We venture out to see the new church of the village from inside, where mass is being held. Soon after we go to see the old church of San Giacomo. A man who lives next door and who has the keys opens the door for us. A very small church, made of a mix of pink, green and brown volcanic stone, with inside a beautiful statue of San Giacomo (St. James), Santu Jacu as it is called in Sardinia.
For lunch, Giacomo (not the saint, the vice Mayor!) takes me to his house, to Narcao (an exception to the rule of spending the whole day in the same town, already done a few times!) Together with his family we have a meal based on genuine products and roast pork, very good! Giacomo also tells me about his beekeeping business, S’Abioi and wants to give me a jar of honey. I have to give up the weight, I have already accepted a jar of honey in Domusnovas from Ilaria and Alessandro, and my bags are already very heavy!
In the afternoon we go to the country church of San Leonardo, just outside the village. This has the same type of stones as San Giacomo church. All around, many centuries-old olive trees, some of these with the trunks wrapped around themselves, like those of S’Ortu Mannu in Villamassargia. In this beautiful place in May there is a festival in honor of the saint. Not far away we also visit a nuragic site, like many others, all to be excavated. A large structure, near which there is also a well, also of the Nuragic age. Stones everywhere, just as the name of the village suggests, the ‘stony’!
We end the evening at the Casa del Sorriso, a beautiful reality that deals with horses of all kinds, including ponies. The owners Roberto and Serena invite us inside to have a glass of myrtle made by them that warms our spirits, and tell me about the activities they do here, including the didactic ones. We go out and they show me all the horses and ponies. A pony and a sheep inside a fence catch my attention. I ask Roberto why this mix, and he explains to me that the lamb, called Sorriso, was found abandoned, placed in the enclosure with Dolcina the pony, who took full care of the lamb, and since then they are inseparable.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
There is another spiritual journey in Sardinia, of which I was not aware of. And this is closely connected to the most famous path of Santiago. This is the journey of Santu Jacu, San Giacomo, St. James, which has been inserted among the European religious circuits that join with that of Santiago (in fact St. James). Perdaxius is not the first village I visit devoted to this saint. It is also a tradition from Nughedu Santa Vittoria. And I remember that it is also in my parents village of residence Soleminis. So I find that in addition to these three, Mandas, Cagliari, Goni, Ittireddu, Noragugume and Orosei are part of the circuit. There are various routes that reach these places starting from the surrounding villages, a sort of pilgrimage to the saint, and there is a total path that joins them all, and that extends in various branches, also touching the islands of San Pietro in Sant’Antioco, and arriving to Porto Torres and Olbia, where one can board a ferry to continue the journey to other Italian and European routes. Who would have time to travel for such an undertaking today? Stuff of old times.