We woke up this morning in our beach car park spot on Capo Ferro, it was not a totally peaceful night due to the number of other residents of the site. We have not been used to having so many neighbours! I took the dogs for a morning beach walk and was followed by two dogs left to roam at will, who to be fair were not aggressive in anyway. However, Lizzy, bless her being somewhat blind, reacted last minute when she finally saw them, causing her to dash across the track, just as a car came round the corner. We had passed a “no vehicles beyond this point” sign which gave me a false sense of security to let the dogs off. I literally screamed Lizzy’s name, as she is entirely oblivious to cars, luckily that must have also alerted the driver as he stopped and another lady appeared probably thinking there was a murder occurring. Luckily no harm done.
When I got back to the van, Kevin reported having just seen a another bloke going to do his business in the woods, barely meters from our van. I realise not all vehicles have facilities but those that don’t need to use a bit of civility and take a shovel, not simply leave it on the ground complete with paper for other people to find. This spot appeared to be a big surfer hangout based on the boards on all their roof’s, they appeared to be semi resident and obviously this sort of behaviour is acceptable to them. To us, you should leave only tire tracks, this is the sort of thing that rightly gets motorhome camping banned. We had seen enough and left before breakfast.
We did not have far to go though as Kevin had been doing some homework. We still wanted our wild beach day before we head to the bright lights for New Year’s. So we are now parked up in the wooded car park to visit the ruins of a Roman Villa (currently closed for refurb). If it is good enough for the Roman’s it is good enough for us. As you would expect the Romans did pick a beautiful spot in the sheltered inlet of Porto Conte for their holiday home of Sant’Imbenia. It looks extensive from the artists impression on the info boards, a shame not to be able to look round, but we did go and have a look through the fencing on our beach walk. We had fun trying to beachcomb for Roman artefacts. We found a few calcified looking oyster shells which I am sure must have been quaffed by some rich Roman. I tried washing a few likely looking lumps in the surprisingly warm clear Mediterranean waters but sadly there was no great finds, only stones.
I had found all sorts of potentially exciting things to do today. I was going to take Lola to Neptune’s Cave, an enormous marine grotto of tunnels, ravines and rooms full of stalagmites and stalactites. However by the time I went back to book it, it was closed due to the weather. Then, as I was washing up after breakfast I spotted a field full of deer through our window, we had heard that they are sometimes seen at this parking spot. A little more research revealed that there was a national park area with wild horses, donkey and deer literally opposite us. It said it was open online. Although I could not find out if dogs were allowed (on a lead) so Lola and I went on a reccie and found the gates padlocked. Though it looks like that could be a good option tomorrow morning.
When I got back, Kevin had been buying cheese from the van door, as you do in Sardinia, it seems. An enterprising young cheese seller had knocked on the door and offered some cheese and meats to us and the couple of Austrian vans parked up. Kevin has been trying to find in the supermarket, some of the excellent cheeses he has enjoyed in restaurants, with very mixed success to date. This was a great opportunity as he got to have a taste first. Sardinia is famous for its Pecorino sheep’s cheese, the most authentic variety being from those sheep that still roam wild on the mountains. The taste test was passed with flying colours for a younger and also for a matured Pecorino cheese. He has always wanted to buy a wheel of cheese, so he has, apparently it will last for a year.
So after a couple of false starts, in the end, we decided to go up to Capo Caccia in the afternoon for a walk. It was only a short drive from here down the peninsular. A soon as we went over the hill from where we are parked, you could see the enormous 180m sheer cliffs towering up from the sea. There are lots of beaches in Sardinia but few cliffs. These definitely appear to have been forced upward with some massive geological forces. Neptune’s Cave is at the base, down 600 steps, but needs calm conditions to visit. Today was definitely not calm as it took two hands to open the van door on the viewpoint car park. Big black clouds were all around us.
So after some very fresh air, we have retired back to our sheltered site beside our Roman neighbours. Kevin has an Italian cooking project in progress using fresh artichokes and Italian Rosa aubergines to recreate one of Simonetta’s dishes, now we have the right cheese, though not yet with our own home made pasta.