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Trip Report Sardinia solo adventures

After a challenging multi-day walk in Corsica I decided to have a few less energetic days in Sardinia, armed with some recommendations from my Italian now Kiwi resident friend. First stop off the ferry from Sardinia was Santa Teresa Gallura and the lovely Hotel Marinaro, recommended by KayF, thank you so much! First thing was to get my 'special vote' for the New Zealand elections uploaded. For this I needed a declaration signed by an ambassador, JP, or perhaps even hotelier, thank goodness, confirming that I was indeed where I said I was. The lovely Roberto at reception helped with this and an enlightening discussion about the privilege of being able to vote for your government ensued! The hotel was well located, 5 minutes walk to the town centre, 10 minutes walk from the ferry and 2 minutes walk to the bus stop. Also had a very nice restaurant. Recommended for a tired traveller to dine in-house, albeit alfresco.
First I enjoyed a walk to the headland fort with it's view back to Corsica, then joined the locals in the piazza in the late afternoon sun - very generous 'tapas' delivered with my beer - and watched the usual activities, boys kicking a football around, old ladies on a seat talking, old men on another seat talking. Being there after the busy tourist season was good.
Bus next morning to Olbia Airport cost a massive 4 euro for the 90 minute journey! Then started my major challenge - picking up my rental car and driving on the right hand side of the road! (I'm used to the other side.) I'll spare you all the anguish, everything went fantastically well. The main Strada was well signposted and the little mountain roads - well there weren't too many intersections on them to worry about. Europcar along with the rental car organisation at the airport were extremely efficient.
So, first stop, Hotel Bia Maore in the little falling-down-the-hillside village of Baunei just inland from the Golfo de Orozei. It was a great mountain road/drive to get there (SS125), so scenic, lots of road bikes roaring past. Bia Maore had big, clean rooms, a secure underground garage for five vehicles, a terrace overlooking the village and coast, you could take your breakfast (a basic but adequate selection) up there, read a book, dry your washing, everything. A friendly little supermarket was 30 metres away, and the bar/pizzeria in the main street rustic but perfectly adequate and friendly. I drove to the beach at Santa Maria Navaresse (7km from memory) for a swim to relax after my safe arrival.
Other activities - driving onto the high plateau above Baunei, then walking the one hour track down to Cala Goloritze - a very popular beach (you can get a boat from SM Navaresse to this and other beaches along this steep coastline, though it was too windy for boats when I was there.)
Visited San Pietro Church, on the plateau - with many friendly donkeys around (my friend warned me that a donkey here is prone to biting people, fortunately the one that stuck his head through my car window didn't).
Drove to SM Navaresse and walked 5km along the coastal track to Pedra Longa and it's delightful little restaurant for lunch then walked back with a swim near the end (you can also drive here).
Drove to Gena Silana Pass then walked down to spectacular Canyon Gorroppu (then back up again, phew, it is possible to organise 4wd transport to get closer to this canyon).
I would have enjoyed staying in this region longer, walking over the shrubby high plateaux to the various beaches, but had booked to end my trip with a two night stop in Bitti, an inland village. Stayed at Hotel Su Lithu (189 euro for 2 nights, including a good breakfast, though more expensive for these two nights than for three at Baunei - the facilities weren't noticeably more luxurious.) However it's the stand out hotel in this village, which is even more rustic and side-stepped by visitors than Baunei. The attractions are the museum (including the Tenore singing - a local but internationally recognised singing form developed by shepherds), the bronze age Nuraghe sites nearby, the Agriturismo accommodation and restaurants (I had an amazing long lunch at Ertila, everything grown and made on the property), and an great pottery shop called Terra Pintada, if you're into that sort of thing. It probably would have helped here if my Italian was a little stronger!
Well, for what it's worth that's my Sardinia adventure - possibly could have seen more and looked for somewhere closer to a relaxing beach but it was a cool experience navigating my little Peugeot through tiny tiny cobblestone one way streets on hillsides with the locals looking askance at the 'foreigner'.
Thanks for all your help and encouragement months back when planning this. Buena sera for now.

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