Today I travel with friends. Alberto, who will host me, and his friend Massimiliano came to get me to ride together. Before departing from the center of Elmas, we stop at the Traffico Ritmico shop of the Todde brothers, where I make small purchases, some plectrums, a spare cable and earplugs (I stayed in some bnb where you could hear other snoring customers!)
We leave. The day is beautiful. The road less. We are only a few kilometers from Sestu but we are very close to the junctions of the state roads 130 and 131 that here almost converge before entering Cagliari. The traffic is very intense. We cycle the few kilometers carefully, to cars and holes, and we enter Sestu.
I leave the bags at Alberto’s and we have coffee, then with Alberto and Massimiliano we take advantage of the beautiful day to cycle around the area. We go out in the countryside to head to the rural church of San Gemiliano. We cross Miocenic terrains (Alberto and I were geology colleagues and we enjoy refreshing knowledge of rocks and terrains and memories of field trips in Sardinia.) After a short climb we arrive at the church of the twelfth century, which still has a beautiful front porch. The space around is large, well cared for, with stone sculptures, spaces and facilities for the saint party held here every year.
We return to the country road, which becomes a gravelly road, and in some places very muddy. We cross the hills, around which the view extends from the Campidano to Cagliari, with the eastern mountain massif on one side, where I will head in the next few days, and the western one on the other. We arrive up to Su Staini Saliu, a small salt water pond, in which several species of birds live.
Back in town we take a ride, crossing the small bridge on the Riu Matzeu. Massimiliano tells me that this work has been much criticized by some citizens, but then shows me a picture of an identical one in Geneva! We stop in the central street for an aperitif and then we go to eat at Alberto’s, with his wife Rita and his sons Simone and Matteo.
In the afternoon I can work a bit then with Alberto we take a walk in the village to see the two main churches, San Salvatore and San Giorgio, and some historic houses, Sa Domu and Su Ferreri, the old blacksmith’s house, and Ofelia house, an old Campidanese house right on the edge of the river. When it’s dark, Alberto takes me by car to the gates of Cagliari, to pick up the ukulele that has been repaired by my sponsor Pesolo. Maybe the vibrations of the bike had created some problems with the electronics … the manufacturer Stefyline, also sponsor of the instrument, sent new electronic parts and so after a day without an instrument I’m ready to start playing my bass again!
We conclude the evening with a dinner at Massimiliano’s hous,e with his wife Giovanna, from Orgosolo, whose accent brings back memories of the third day of my tour, and their daughters Anna and Marta. The chat goes on late, interweaved with songs from the Sanremo Festival final.
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Mayors IN, mayors OUT.
Me (the day after sending the email to the Mayor, answering his phone call): Thanks for the call!
Mayor: no, no, thank YOU for what you are doing!
Mayor (the day before my arrival): it would have been better to know of your arrival a little earlier so we will be organised.
Me: I sent an email months ago!
Mayor: you are a catalyst for people and situations.
Mayor: I’ve never seen the communication, what email did you send it to?
Me: the office one, on your web site.
Mayor: nooo, that email has not been checked by anyone for years!
Mayor: thank you, today you made us spend a different day.
Mayor: we have never received communication.
Me: but ANCI has sent one too.
Mayor: we never read those of ANCI.
Mayor (two days after a serious mourning occurred on the day of my visit): I regret not being able to dedicate much time to your visit, I hope it will happen again in a quieter time.
Mayor: wow what courage you have, I’m sorry I do not know how to help you … now I have to go.
Me: No problem, goodbye and thank you!
To be continued….