Anti-Clockwise tour commenced – Alghero, Sardinia

Today we woke up to our own private campsite with seaviews 😎 However, we did have some howling winds to listen to all last night as the enormous low pressure system covering most of mainland Europe passes overhead. This morning though, we could see the very industrial Porto Torres, our entrance to Sardinia, silhouetted as the sun rose to the east, it definitely looked better from this distance.

Kevin had a lovely walk along the beach by the saline pools with the girls (though forgot to take his phone for photos). Meanwhile, I did some yoga by the van as we had the place to ourselves of three parking areas reserved for motorhomes. Sadly there are a few reports of van break-ins within the last couple of weeks here in the northwest. All appear to opportunistic whilst the van was empty during the day so it worked better to plan to have someone with the van.

Kevin is currently reading the 5th volume of Churchill’s war diaries, which by coincidence recently covered the invasion of Sardinia. Visible on the ridge behind us are 16 pillboxes guarding the shore. It is amazing how these remnants remain even now and show us how difficult a task that invasion must have been.

After a leisurely breakfast we decided to take a tour of the peninsular to north. We visited La Pelosa beach first, a famously photogenic spot. The benefit of visiting this time of year was we could park up right in front and have the place almost to ourselves. However, we did not quite get the beautiful turquoise waters of this spot in the summer and all the restaurants and bars here were closed. The Isola Piana islet north of here creates almost a lagoon with the mainland Sardinian coast with a stone watch tower guarding the shallow channel.

We retraced back down the peninsula back to Stintinto, we had missed a sign post to a “panoramico” viewpoint on the way out and we are suckers for those. So we ended up driving into central Stintinto along the coast. It was quite a tight road as they had made it one way and taken a whole lane for cyclists and walkers with immaculate red tarmac and yellow rubber studs down the middle of the road. There was one exciting point about 1 mile in when we were warned about a 2m width restriction ahead for the first time ahead (we are more than 2m wide) with no option to turn and a long way to reverse. However we carried on and it did not seem to materialise. The town was small and pretty, built around a central marina. There was a fabulous mural on one wall which Italy seems to be becoming famous on social media for.

We then struck out for Alghero, we remarked on the way how rural, green and low-rise Sardinia has been so far with quiet roads and a relaxed vibe. Apart from Porto Torres where they appear to have put all the ugly industry together, our first impressions are good. This maybe because we are here out of season!

Sardinian Traffic, following the olives

We watched Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy last night, Season 2, Sardinia episode (after another good tip from Claire – thank you 😘). Alghero is famous for lobster, apparently it is due to the salinity of the local waters and the red coral found there that cleanses the water. We would have called what they were catching crayfish in the UK, but they are now pretty rare there, so actually it is even more of a treat. The restaurant that Stanley visited is sadly closed at the moment, but we are intending to go on a search in the old town tonight, hopefully it is still season for lobster here. If not, it still looks like there is some fabulous seafood to be had.

We did also go in search of panada pies from the Discovering Italy programme at Al Forno. Panada pies originates from a Catalan version empanadas, said to attest to the original Spanish settlers of this town, referred to as Little Barcelona. However, we arrived just as they closed for lunch though and they had sold out. However, upon reflection pork pies is not really what we came to Italy for.

Shop located but no pies!

We settled instead for the best panini I have ever had from a snack bar nearby, I cannot stand the cardboard UK versions. Since then the rain has been hammering down, as forecasted. We did get to watch a fantastic starling murmuration over the town though as it got dark.

We may have to don raincoats and umbrellas to brave the elements for our lobster tonight. Thankfully the forecast is looking much better for Thursday.

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