Day 19 - The day, when I got totally drunk -Santa Giusta - Sardignia
October 14, 2016
"Sleeping" on a floor between a trash bin and a large bag in a bar hadn´t relaxed my feet. Lamp that was never off, and was flashing directly above my head, dog-tired after a long sleepless night.
I left the ferry around 9:00 am, sat in a local park, checked my Harley for possible damage, planned a tour in Calgiari following the idea "what to see in one day", which for me had another definition. What I could see in a maximum of two hours ?
Sardinia is a very popular destination for motorcyclist and therefore seeing a person like me was not really surprising and, for sure, as I had learnt, not a reason to start a conversation. I had met many bikers on the ferry from Sicily, and in Sardinia, but none of them were eager to talk. All travelers were kind, but somewhat uninterested in anything besides their own travels. I found it quite sad.
My first stop was Cagliari. The capital of the province, located at the heart of Bay of the Angels (Golfo degli Angeli). The city, like Rome, was built on seven hills. Its name in Sardinian "Casteddu" means Castle (Castello), which refers to the upper part of the city and its ancient citadel. One of highlights of the city is XIII c. Cagliari Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary and to Saint Cecilia. I decided that I would visit this one place. I took me quite some time to find the place, and a parking lot. Talking to a random pedestrian left me with a set of advice's on how to stay safe in the area.
The Cathedral has a mix Pisan-Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Romanesque style. Upon entering, one can feel the latest restoration done in 2007. Everything inside was in perfect shape. The Interior has three naves with a transept and side chapels, and is rich in creamy marble, silver candelabras, frescos, stuccos. It is an important center for believers due to the precious "Relic of Our Lord's Sacred Throne", which is exposed on one of the walls of the beautiful Aragonese Chapel. The Shrine of the Martyrs, located underneath the presbytery, and the choir containing the relics of martyrs from Cagliari, has also splendid decoration. Overall, the cathedral is rich in history and art. What I also learnt, which maybe wasn´t the most intellectually enriching information, but still something I would remember was that one of the Chapels is dedicated to St Lucifer, who was once a bishop of Cagliari (What a name for the Saint!).
After the tour around the Cathedral, I went back to my Harley.
Sardinia is a relatively small island and a person can drive across it few times in one day. For this reason, I had booked a place for two nights in Santa Gusta, a small town on western part of the island. I also thought that it was time to wash all my clothes and according to my calculations it would have been the last place where I would need to stay for two days mainly for hygienic reasons.
On the way to town, I stopped at one of gas stations to stretch my tired bones. I checked my phone, and after a bit longer thinking I slowly came to a conclusion that I had made a mistake with my booking. I had forgotten to count the night I spent on the ferry. That meant that I had paid for the night which I spent on the ferry. I was too tired to be disappointed and shortly after that, I was back on the road not really thinking about it. "What will happen, will happen.", I thought. In the meantime, I received a message from my friend Andy, asking me if everything was as I planned, and since a part of the trip I had, was through Sardinia, I would have to take the SS125 road. I checked the map, and the road was on the opposite side of the island.
I arrived to my host´s place really very tired, kind of lacking vital forces, which seemed for me like they stayed somewhere behind me desperately trying to catch up with my body. I parked my Harley next to the entrance. My host, Catherine, came out just as I stopped the engine. I looked at her with no energy in my eyes and shortly explained the reason for my mistake. Catherine, with big smile on her face, told me that, if I wanted, I could just extend my stay by the night I had already paid for. I could not be more pleased (Well, that´s what I thought, but the best was just about to come.). Catherine´s Husband was a Racing biker, and with a visible pride, he showed me his beautiful shiny black Ducati. Indeed, the motorcycle was very impressive. Before I went to my room, I shortly asked, if there was any restaurant in the area where I could eat, since the last meal I had was the sandwich in Sicily the day before. The daughter of my host quickly called one restaurant for confirmation if the restaurant was open that day . What I did not know was that she not only asked if it was open, but also explained my trip shortly and reserved a table for me. After a shower, putting make up, a dress and sandals, I was ready to "explore" the town. From the pictures hanging in the room I had booked, I comprehended that the area was next to a lagoon where pink flamingos seasonally gather.
I walked in the direction of a restaurant called "Da Leonardo". I sat next to a table outside the restaurant and waited for several minutes till a waiter came outside and invited me to come inside. I was surprised because I did not know that there were expecting me. The table was set for one, at the corner of a room in the way that I could observe all what was happening inside. The menu cart had a lot of choice and I had no clue what I should try. I looked around and everyone was eating something else. The owner, Leonardo, came to me and offered to help me with finding the right meal. I accepted his offer and I took a 3 Course meal which came with a bottle of the local wine and water. I was not really a fan of sea food until that day.
Oh my God! Everything, literally everything, was just amazingly delicious. I managed to drink the whole bottle of Leonardo's wine, which went perfectly with the food. I started with a fresh mix sea fruit salad, followed by fried calamari, a fish, and a large shrimp. For a desert, I received tiramisu a'la Leonardo. With the subtle savor of each bite, I forgot myself and before I knew, the bottle of wine was empty. I was smiling and laughing, talking with the owner. We both agreed that instead of looking for the flamingos alone, we can go together. The wine was working perfectly and, although there were no flamingos, and Leonardo himself was disappointed that no flamingos had shown up that day, we had a lot of fun! He drove me back to my host´s house and I hit the hay as soon as they reached my bed. Three hours later, I woke up. Outside, it was still bright. The effect of the wine had already worn off and I was able to think logically again. That entire evening, I was shaping a plan for the next day, made a couple of phone calls, segregating photos, washing clothes. I bought, as well, a ticket for my next ferry from Sardinia to Corsica. Around eleven o'clock, I went to sleep. The next two days, I devoted completely to riding.