Road trip – sixth stop: Sardinia

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Happy to meet everybody at home, to teach and to be pampered at hotel Mama, it burns under our nails to hit the road again. Being surrounded by crystal clear water and sandy beaches, we learn the dolce farniente.

map roadtrip - SardinienIn Genova, we hop on the ferry. In about 12 hours it brings us to Olbia. It’s my first time being on a ferry. Exciting! We walk around, stroll through the empty places on the ferry. After a beer, we enjoy a long, hot shower in the cabin and have a good sleep before we arrive in Olbia.

Once arrived in Sardinia, we have to change our clothes. The island welcomes us with sunny and warm weather. It’s shorts and sunglasses weather.

We drive straight to Porto Pollo in the north of the island. It’s a well-known kite- and windsurf spot. The road is curvy and once it’s straight, there are a lot of potholes. So make sure, you tight up everything in your campervan. If you haven’t done it before, you will learn it on this island. I thought, Switzerland has many curves, but Sardinia has even more.

roadtrip sardinia - porto pollo kitesurf italy

Well shaken we arrive in Porto Pollo. There’s already wind and many people at the beach or in the water. The crowded place doesn’t convince us to go on the water. We didn’t travel so far, to ride on choppy water. Both think, there must be another spot with fewer people.

roadtrip sardinia - rena majore beach

We drive west to the beach of Rena Majore. It’s well known for its waves. Doesn’t it look beautiful? Unfortunately, the wind blows here onshore. That means it blows straight onto the beach, which isn’t good for kitesurfing. But we’ll come back here for sure.

roadtrip sardinia - marina delle rose naraccu nieddu

Further west, there’s Naraccu Nieddu or the so-called spot “Marina delle Rose”. Another beautiful beach.

My boyfriend takes all the gear down to the beach and has a nice, wavy session.

roadtrip sardinia - marina delle rosenaraccu nieddu after kitesurf session

The grin after a successful session is priceless. Nothing beats this, right?

After seeing broken glasses on the parking – obviously glasses from a car – I rather prefer to stay in our campervan. We’ve heard many stories about braking in cars on Sardinia. So we carefully choose our sleeping places. But another campervan stays overnight here and we stay there too. Nothing to worry about.

Two days later we get a text message by my father-in-law. If we haven’t heard about the storm (medicane) coming straight to Sardinia. But we can’t see anything on the wind forecast on Windfinder.com. It might be the calm before a storm.

We drive further west to the next spot “Marina di Sorso”. There are many accesses to the long, sandy beach. We park on one parking at the beach. We wonder about the many cars passing by the parking. Only one man in the car. My boyfriend starts to wonder and google it. And soon we find out, it’s a place where gay meet. On almost every parking here at the beach. Oh well, at least no time for troublemakers to break in the car :-)

roadtrip sardinia - marina di sorso kitesurf session

The other day – because there’s no wind – we do our groceries. As we come back, there’s already wind. My boyfriend pushes me to go out with my 9 m2 kite. I give it a try, but after four times back and forward I have to give up. The wind drops and the waves are too big. But a beautiful place anyway.

roadtrip sardinia - olbia vecchie saline

The wind turns and blows from the east. Time to change the spot. We drive to the south of Olbia where at former times were salines. At “Vecchie Saline” we find flat water, perfect for freestyle.

roadtrip sardinia - olbia vecchie saline after kitesurf session

There are advantages if both do kitesurfing. But one disadvantage is, that nobody wants to stay at the beach to take photos of the other. So pictures of any one of us kiting are rare. But today it’s picture time for me :-)

roadtrip sardinia - arbatax rocks red

Using the windless days for sightseeing, we drive to Arbatax. I read about the red rocks and wanted to see it. The scenic drive from high mountains towards the sea is great. As soon as we arrive, we realise that there’s nothing more than this. A few red rocks.

roadtrip sardinia - arbatax rocks red detail

Arbatax is surrounded by an industrial area. Not a nice place to stay. We drive back. Well, if you don’t dive or snorkel, there’s no need to do all the drive to Arbatax.

As it is off-season in Sardinia, the camping places are already closed. Usually, you can get there a “camper service” to empty the grey water and fill the water tank. But now it seems a bit more complicated. No camping place is open. And an empty water tank. Where to get water in Sardinia when it’s off-season? There are a few beach bars where they don’t lock the water pipes (like in Rena Majore or Marino de Sorso). It’s good for a shower or doing the dishes. But to fill a tank it takes more. In the mountains, you can find many fountains. We stop at one to fill the water tank of our campervan. Finally some water!

Tired of driving all day, we stop in La Caletta, between Arbatax and Olbia. The beach and some parking close by are still under water. I guess it’s still water from the storm.

We enjoy a nice dinner and fall well fed and heavy in our bed.

roadtrip sardinia - rena majore

Checking the wind forecast, we drive to Rena Majore again. There are already many cars around. All waiting for the strong wind the next day. At the top, we find our place to stay.

After a well shaken night in the car (because of the strong wind), we soon realize that the wind is less strong than expected and onshore again. We drive to Naraccu Nieddu. This time we drive down to the beach and park there.

roadtrip sardinia - marina delle rose naraccu nieddu

Packed with our gear we walk to the beach – to the same spot where my boyfriend kited the other day. This parking is just closer to the beach. And without any broken glass…

After our kitesession, there is another campervan next to us. It’s a German family who travels with their 10-years-old son for a year. How cool is that?!

Both of us are happy, that there’s someone who stays overnight too. We sit outside, drink wine and discuss all night long.

With no wind, the next day, the mother and I drink tea and knit together. Finally, there’s one to knit with! The guys go for a bicycle tour along the coast to Vignola, which is 20 minutes away. In the evening we invite the family to have dinner in our campervan, as it gets cold during the nights. We enjoy the pumpkin soup and listen to each other stories about travelling.

We need a fountain, as we run out of water again. But there are no fountains close by. We drive to Vignola, where we spot a garden hose of a restaurant. We ask the owner and he agreed, though he denies the money. We have a coffee at the beach and enjoy the sunny weather.

In no other country, you learn better “La Dolce Farniente”. It means the sweetness of doing nothing. Well, the Italians are the founder of it. After having an exhausting morning (which may start at 10 AM), it’s time to lay at the beach for a nap (around 2 PM). Nothing else. We acclimate and do the same thing.

In the evening we drive to Porto Pollo where we stay with a few other campervans on the parking lot. All hungry to get on the water. And the next day – fortunately – it’s windy again.

roadtrip sardinia - porto pollo after kitesurf session

After a kite session, it’s time to relax and stretch your body – with a beer. We deserve nothing else :-)

The next couple of days it’s on and off. One day without, one day with wind. Spending some time in Porto Pollo we want to see something else. It’s a good spot, but we prefer places with fewer people and more waves.

Checking the forecast we soon find out, that the next days won’t bring strong wind. After spending almost three weeks in Sardinia, it’s time to get to the mainland and check out the spots somewhere else.

We totally fall in love with the crystal blue, clear water and nice beaches in Sardinia. For sure we will come back.

We take the ferry to Livorno because there isn’t anymore one to Genova. Wait, there I know I guy we can visit! Siena is close to Livorno, isn’t it?

After visiting people we know from Cape Town in their home country, it is time to meet Arrigo. I met him two years ago in South Africa. He’s from Siena and runs his own B&B.

We arrive early in Livorno. Before we enter Siena, there are several signs for no campers. Well, the roads are so narrow, you don’t want to drive through. In the valley, they have a big parking area for buses and campervans (where is also water). We park there and walk to the city.

Siena itself is a touristic place. But one of the nicest cities I know so far in Italy. It has a lot of history and culture.

We plan to meet Arrigo for lunch. But I make a mistake: never meet an Italian, when you’re hungry! Saying “in one hour” means most of the time at least two :-) I am S.T.A.R.V.I.N.G.!!!

roadtrip sardinia - siena piazza del campo

We spent the time waiting with sightseeing: Piazza del Campo, the tower, the dom… So many things to see.

roadtrip sardinia - siena arrigo

Later we meet Arrigo and go to a delicious restaurant in Siena. It’s nice to catch up. We have a good time talking about dwarfs and trolls from Siena ;-)

After doing groceries in an Italian deli store, we hit the road again and drive north. We spend the night on a resting place on the highway, somewhere between Ventimiglia and Nice.

Looking for wind, we have no plan where to go…. do you? At this season, what windy spot would you suggest us?

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