Day 21 - Last day in Sardinia
Starting point: Santa Giusta
Destination: Santa Teresa Gallura
Distance: ca 350 km
After three weeks of travelling, I had learnt that mornings are for lazy start ups and that late afternoons are the most beautiful part of each day. I have a thrill for the mountains, but not for chilling out at a beach. And it is always good to find a good spot with delicious food!
After breakfast, I again drove to Arborea, a town located 15 km from Santa Giusta, and a lagoon where Flamingos - “sa genti arrubia”, or “the pink people”, as Sardinians call them, found their home or at least one of them. Apparently, bird watching is a very special and popular activity in Sardinia and many locals cultivate tradition observing and protecting their bird habitats. Since the first day in Santa Giusta, I drove to Arborea four times with the hope that I would be lucky enough to see them living in Nature and not in a Zoo.
My patience and determination paid off. I saw TWO (!) of them standing so far away from me that I had to wait a bit for them to move to make sure they were alive. I enjoyed the views till noon, the time when Leonardo was opening his restaurant, and I felt happy with a thought to feed my belly with the tasty meal. Since I could not stay too long, a large portion of the food I packed to go, and left it for dinner.
I discussed my day´s plans with my biker host in order to get the best out of my last day in Sardinia and concluded that I would drive along the western and north coastline taking small local roads.
The variety of vegetation had changed as I drove toward North. Eucalyptus trees, seemed to have adapted quite well to the Sardinian climate. The bougainvillea is by no means unique to Sardinia but in the northern parts of island I found superb examples of them! Vineyards and the olive trees, the epitome of all Mediterranean areas, added charm of its landscapes. On the northern side of the island, Lavender, Thyme and Rosemary grow wildly. The entire region is also home to the Cork Oaks, whose wood is used to produce corks or the soles of shoes. In the island it is nature, not people, that dominate the landscape and Sardinians have been protecting wildlife against increasing tourism by the creation of a mammoth national park and reserve in the Gennargentu mountains. Sardinia is exceptionally beautiful, with its magnificent cork oak, maquis and arbutus forests and its pristine natural environment, which could be a great escape from the hurly-burly modern urban life.
Till Alghero, a city on the northwest coast of Sardinia, encircled by ancient walls and known for its cobble-stoned old center, I drove along the western coast line. Then I changed into an inland road and, at first, I drove towards Sassari, the second largest city in Sardinia and later towards the northern coast. The last part of that day, I did on the SP90 road which led me directly to Santa Teresa Gallura. The latest, the town on the northern tip of Sardinia, on the Strait of Bonifacio, is just lovely. Very well maintained with many colorful buildings located on a hill, and from its beach, the southern coast of Corsica can be seen.
My host had prepared a very pleasant surprise for me. I was truly astonished. I stayed that night in a hostel called "Tortuga", which means "Turtle". I was placed in a "blue room", which was, as the name says, decorated in blue. It was exceptionally clean and I received two sets of Swiss cosmetics, and not the cheapest ones but a really high quality, with a nice fragrance. That day, my host Pier had a problem with wifi and, as an apology, he offered me a bottle of wine and a small jar of cactus fruit marmalade. And the very last thing, he bought a large water melon, just for me. For dinner, I ate the rest of Leonardo's meal, and, for desert, of course I had to eat the fruit. With a smile on my face, I went to sleep.