Playing tourist

Alghero
An old Spanish settlement where a form of old Catalan is still spoken
Narrow lanes, city walls, brightly coloured flowers, & a vibe, energy
I was one of two people that caught the bus in Porto Torres this morning.
The other one was a talkative young woman, fortunately, she kept up a conversation with the bus driver the whole hour we were driving.
I did understand some of what they said, although I am convinced that I got some of the finer detail wrong, but it was interesting background to the changing landscape
So, I came to Alghero, made my way to the hotel & was allowed to book in although it wasn’t even 10 yet!
After trying to connect to the hot spot with my phone (did not work), I set off to explore the town. I saw the town from a bell tower & the city wall.
I also bought some touristy stuff for my peeps back home, not 100% sure yet how to fit everything, but I had fun.
I also bought a book, Alexander McCall Smith’s, My Italian Bulldozer, which I started reading later the afternoon in the park.
After which I did more shopping, mostly the window kind, found a small restaurant for supper.
A touristy, but filled day

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Isola dell’Asinara, wild donkeys to love

There is only one place that has touched me as much as Isola dell’Asinara & that is Stromboli, also an island off an island….Asinara wins slightly though, less people!
There were times today that I could imagine myself completely alone, humanly that is.

I seldom met other travellers today, although rhere were se eral 4×4’s with groups in them.

I found them!
The miniature donkeys, the white albino ones with red rimmed eyes & the little grey ones….too cute for words!!!

Today involves a lot of waiting again, but not for one minute do I regret my time here.

The fascinating history, the windswept hills, the crazy seagulls (sounds like they are moaning) & the other wild life that surprised me. My own little private beach where in had a picnic, oh, & did I mention the donkeys!?
I absolutely loved my day
(I am writing this as I am waiting for the ferry to go back, I am going to be pooped by time I get back, & might then actually not write…but now it is done)
On my way back, I chatted to an interesting lady from Belgium. We discussed solo travel, global warming & many other thoughtful subjects. Another stimulating opportunity due to solo travel…meeting people from different perspectives!
This will be a day I remember for a long time

Waiting, Roman remains & a creepy crypt

Sometimes, I realise that when I plan, I tend to skip over details, that on my trip has quite an impact.
Today was an example of waiting. My guesthouse in Porto Torres only allowed bookins from 16:00. I arrived in Porto Torres at 10:20…those are a whole lot of hours to be chained to a carry-on bag…
I walked from the bus stop to the guesthouse, to make sure I know how to get there. Then I sat on bench until 11:00. Tried to find information about the donkey island, & instead went on an archeological tour of ancient Rome.
Very “young” compared to the periods I have been gaping at, 46 BC, but still old enought to be called ancient!
It was a guided tour by a young enthusiastic Sardinian, & quite enjoyable, with snippets of funny stories.The tour plus walking through the museum took just over an hour. I thren found a tourist office with information on Asinara that made things more confusing.
Back to the Piazza, this time for lunch. I had to leave Tempio before breakfast & the two home made biscuits offered on the bus to Sassari was a distant memory.
I also still had 3.5 hours to wait.
Lunch took care of a good two of them.
After lunch, I sat on another bench & watched a group of workers prepare for a festival.
Sound equipment, etc. Fascinating, not the least of this, the four guys in jeans doing the work!
Finally got to book in & after some rest, went to look at a basilica built in the 11 the century, from 1030 – 1080. Once again fascinating, as they stole some of the pillars from the Roman remains to use in their basilica.
Also had a look at a creepy crypt. I am normally not affected by these things, but this one was damp & very creepy!

Nuraghe in the forest

Today brought its own challenges & surprises
My feet have not recovered from two days ago & walking 3 km today has increased the sizre of the blisters.
The walk to the nuraghe Maiori was interesting. Old town, new town, outskirts, with a curious donkey, & then roadside & finally forest.
& although there were slight inclines, most was severely downhill…I was starting to plan my coming back plan of action & asking God for a kind Sardinian to give me a lift.
I was devastated when I got to the monument at 9:45 & there was no one, no notice, just a huge padlock.
After walking a bit & seeing the outside (which just made me want to see the inside more), I settled against a dry stone wall (dry refers to the type of wall, nothing was quite dry in he forest). A couple from Denmark came & also walked around. I explained the lack of human life…when finally a little Fiat drew up & the friendliest young lady popped out.
She looks & sounds like a flower child (Italian version), equipped be with a torch & instructions, took my money for the ticket & went to unlock the nuraghe.
I am SO glad I waited, I loved walking through & imagining the 3400 years ago scenery…no written language srvived, thus he assumption is there wasn’t one, yet the sophistication of some of the planning & thought going into these dwellings is astounding.
& then a short walk below the monument through the forest. I could imagine some of the children I know clambering through it, creating hiding places & playing cowboys & Indians, or Lord of the Rings…an absolute haven!
Having had mt fill, I slowly started my way back, through the forest, onto the highway…& very old gentleman stopped & offered me a lift back to town. I graciously (& thankfully) accepted.
We talked, he in Italian, I in shrugs & some basic Italian.
A lovely time was had by all!
I spent the rest of my day lazily, people watching, sleeping & being gaped at by the locals…I was the only woman with a skirt longer than knee length. I saw two knee length ones worn by ladies in their eighties, going to mass.

My abberation was obviously note-worthy

Tempio tempered

When we go about every day life, we face challenges, little ones & big ones, things that force us to think on our feet. A prolonged period of these challenges causes a burnout of our reserves & we become vulnerable to all sorts of illness & anxiety.
I know I was flirting with burnout just before my leave started & am now paying for it.
I still have challenges, but each day brings different ones, instead of worrying about the accuracy of data, I am faced with catching buses at odd hours & having to get off in strange places. Missing bus stops to descend, like this morning, & then, instead of following the carefully stored directions to where I am going, having to improvise with a map that is not downloaded.
But the burnout has taken its toll, instead of thriving on the challenges, & embracing the sheer physical effort that I am faced with, I am tired. & to my greatest misery, I am sick, again!
But, in spite of the challenges, I am falling deeper in love with Sardinia (well the small slice I have seen so far). The bus stopped to my great relief this morning, in the middle of nowhere to pick me up.
We drove through the most beautiful countryside, forests and valleys, all blanketed by a deep fog. Glimpses of amazing views & small hamlets tucked into corners.
Tempio Pausania, bathed in deep fog, has been lovely. Rustic centro storico with real people all about, a park I found by accident, called San Lorenzo, a little bit of forest with ancient trees right in the middle of a busy town.
I did give my blistered feet after yesterday’s 10 km+ walks, a rest this afternoon, as well as slept with some meds from the pharmacy, to try & get the cold sorted.
Tomorrow will have its own set of challenges & I am looking forward to face & overcome them with the help of God, always by my side, & enough rest to satisfy my tired body!

Song to Sardinia

Today I walked more then 10 km, some of it in rain, I was solicited by a Moroccan man who wants to marry & bought a cheap track suit to keep warm…but for detail of this, you would need access to my personal journal.

I keep today for the effect of part of my walks of the past two days

Something draws me
Pulls me to the beauty of this place
Like tracing the lines
Of a loved one’s face
The bald rocks
The ancient trees
The birds always singing
The wind blowing free
Somehow somewhere
Inside resonates with it all
Like a lover’s voice
It lures me with its call
Mountains high
Valleys long & wide
Sardinia’s landscape
In me now abides

Wonder & walking

I feel slightly disorientated
Partially because I no longer have Mom to look out for
Partially because the countryside has changed drastically from Malta
Partially because I am in a different time period again
Tarquinia was the “newest”, then back to Neolithic & now Nuragic age (late Bronze age)
There are around 8 000 examples of the Nuraghe dotted all over Sardinia
My day started slowly, did some research & wrote for another blog that I am part of
Then I went to look at Basilica San Simplicio, completed in the 11 the century before catching a bus to Arzachena
Margherita from my B&B was kind enough to pick me up at the bus stop & bring me to my bed for the next two nights. It is eight kilometers out of town, a complication I did not think through properly.
It is beautiful here, & after settling, I walked to the archeological site, Tomba di giganti Coddu Vecchiu, so completely different to what I have seen in Malta…
Then up a mountain, “just one kilometer” to the Nuraghe la Prisgiona & stood amazed & excited.
Some American ladies introduced themselves & invited me to join their guided tour of the site, which I promptly did, in my mind thanking God for providing such a luxury, learning more about the place than I would otherwise have…
Afterwards, I walked most of the long trek back to the B&B, but was offered & accepted a lift from a kind Sardinian man, I was absolutely pooped by this time & he had sugar cane in his car…it made it feel alright.
But, walking along, arms swinging, I was able to appreciate the moment…the wind in the trees singing a song, the birds (seabirds so far from the sea) drifting on the breeze, the absolute beauty of the scenery & doing my favourite thing, sharing with God.
I am exhausted after my day, but so grateful for all I could experience