We had originally had plans to explore more of Isola di Sant’Antioco, however, the complete absence of any kind of facilities meant we needed to move on. Therefore we headed to Porto Pino, back on mainland Sardinia with a dedicated motorhome parking area and service point. Although even at this, the water has been disconnected for some reason. Luckily we have enough fresh water.
We quickly located the service point and emptied tanks etc then went to park up. In the time it took for me to jump out the cab to watch us back into the space, three mosquitoes 🦟 managed to enter the van 😨. We really do not like mosquitoes. So after a bit of frantic swatting we were already beginning to dislike Porto Pino. It had a completely deserted feel to it, all the houses seemed to be shuttered and empty and although a deserted beach was nice, there was something eerie about a deserted town. So, the good thing about motorhoming, we just drove on. We had a look at the parking app and Chia looked like an option, but it too had two big pools just in land called “Stagno” which sounded very uninviting and reports of savage mosquitoes so we looked further east.
Pula had a nice quiet free (out of season) parking area near a beach and a large archeological site. Sounded like just our kind of place. So we reprogrammed the satnav and headed over the hills. A nice bit of countryside where it seemed lots of people had gone off walking judging by the cars in lay-bys. We saw one guy apparently collecting some of the copious berries growing and concluded he was maybe making a bit of home brew. Sure enough, a bit of Googling revealed the popular Mirto is made from myrtle berries which ripen from December to January and are traditionally collected running up to Christmas.
We had a bit of excitement going through Teulada where the road splits into two one way sections to go round some houses. There should have been a right turn straight after it to bring you back onto the main road but it appeared to be jammed with parked cars. So we ended up driving right up through the houses to the top of the town down narrow one way streets until we could eventually turn right. Then back down through gradually narrower streets until we were eventually directed by the sat-nav to a right turn on literally a 90 degree bend between houses. There was no way we could make the turn so I told Kev to go left as there was a junction opposite we could back into. A lady then appeared coming down the hill who advised us in Italian in a very friendly way to go no further and turn round back to the main road. We had intended to do so anyway, but clearly we were not the first to venture this way.
Next we were climbing again into the hills through a series of hairpins for the next few kilometres before finally the road straightened and headed back down hill to Pula. There were smart hotels to our left and a grid of private gated roads to our right with much bigger villas apparently leading to a beach to our right. We had clearly arrived to the more affluent south of the island, being now a only about 30km from Cagliari the capital of Sardinia.
However, we turned onto a small outcrop called Nora with a beautiful bay over looked by the Torre del Castellazzo o di Sant’Efsio. The archeological site adjoining the tower housed civilisations going back to the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC, then the Carthaginian and the Romans. As we concluded in Sant’Antioco, which we really enjoyed, it is a great recommendation for a place when it has been occupied for millennia.
We parked up in the empty, but for one small VW T5 van, car park and had a walk around. We immediately loved the scenery and the peace here. We realised belatedly we had stumbled on one of the restaurants in Stanley Tucci’s Discovering Italy programme – Fradis Minoris. It sits on its own spit of land overlooking the Laguna di Nora from which it derives much of the seafood it cooks. They have earned a green Michelin star for this sustainability and Google Maps showed it and the two other restaurants within walking distance were open! Though a short walk soon revealed what we have already learned multiple times on this trip, opening times on Google Maps should be completely ignored out of season, as they were all shut.
However, we are very happy to just enjoy the lovely scenery and the peaceful location. If all those locations were open, it would probably be very different here. As it is there are a few locals taking the air for a walk, arriving by car to the car park opposite, or by foot or by bike.
We had another walk later to suss out the archeological site, about 3.30pm, but there was not time to do it justice before dark, sunset here is 5pm currently. There was a nice little cafe there and we stopped in for a coffee. It is a beautiful spot and we will look forward to exploring hopefully tomorrow.