Arbus to Buggerru - Springtime Spin in Sardinia 2019 - CycleBlaze

June 6, 2019

Arbus to Buggerru

The town of Arbus is a traditional small Sardinian working town, which is to say most of the townspeople aren’t vested in tourism. Our host, Luciano is an exception (and I am sure there are others). He understands the needs of travellers and knows how to deliver on them. His B&B was modern, beautifully decorated and spotless and, to say the least, he was charming. He prepared breakfast for us and made sure we knew of all the highlights of the area we would be riding through today before seeing us off to Buggerru (which neither of us had any trouble remembering).

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Arbus is situated in a steep valley and the road we had ridden to get here continued uphill, right from the B&B. Soon, we were passing through scrubby rangeland with views out over the coastal mountains.

Verbascum in its full glory.
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Rock roses have been our constant roadside companions in Sardinia. These pink ones were especially large and beautiful.
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This is still uphill, but such a nice gentle grade.
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Luciano had advised us, as did our gpx track, to take a 24km side trip to Piscenas to see the huge sand dune and beach. We rarely like to do out and back loops but this sounded really worthwhile. So we took the turnoff from the main highway and after a short climb, we crested the ridge and saw that the beach was about 400m below us. We both felt committed so we enjoyed the descent through the cork and oak forest. Finally, we caught glimpses of the top of the dune.

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This area is known primarily for its mining history. In fact, this goes back to Roman times. The mines shut down in 1965 and today, the whole area is being preserved for its historic value. There are many rusted out pieces of machinery and mining equipment, dilapidated structures and buildings that supported a thriving mine. From the rock, they extracted cadmium, gallium, indium and zinc. 

The mining director’s house is still standing and what a magnificent view he enjoyed!

Palazzio della Direzione, home of the local mine director.
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Patty BarronWhat an odd structure! Not just the proximity to the road, but the architecture seems so unlike anything else in the area?
Tudor style?
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2 years ago

The house is built right over the roadway so he could see all the comings and goings right from his window.

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Further down the hill at the 200m altitude point is the Pozzo Gal mineshaft. This is the restored winding tower and museum which looked as though it had closed down long ago.

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At about 100m we came to the ruins of the Laveria Brassey. A laveria is a washing plant where women and children separated the ore from the muck. The ore was transported on a little rail line from the Pozzo Gal and then on from the washery to the beach where it was loaded on to boats bound for Carloforte.

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Patty BarronAha, English Lord; now the architecture makes more sense!
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2 years ago

Unfortunately, we could not go any further than the laveria because the asphalt ended and the road turned to a dusty washboard. There were cars on the road and they were kicking up a lot of dust. So we turned around and rode the steep 6.5 km back up to the highway. 

Sardinia is a island of winds. It is always blowing from one direction or another. The winds have names like Tramontana, Scirocco, Maestrale, Levante, Grecale, Ponente and Libeccio. These trees have a permanent crick in them as they are constantly being hit by the Maestrale (Mistral).

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We took a cooling break in the shade of these cork trees. The sound of the birds here was a reminder how important our forests are for songbirds. I thought of recording them just so I could listen to them at home.

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These cork trees had survived a forest fire.
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The highway wound along the ridge of the mountain and it seemed to be a rather insignificant rise when this summit sign appeared. We didn’t think much of it until we rounded the next corner and saw a big juicy, twisty, downhill that would take us all the way to the coast. Boy, we were glad to be travelling in this direction!

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We cruised down the hill, being careful on each corner but trying to lay off the brakes as much as possible, using our body weight to shift from one turn to the next.

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Patty Barron😲😲. 🦅. What a thrill!
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2 years ago
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The road levelled off a few kms from the coast. Here we found a very happy bunch of goats munching on the shrubbery. Those who were in the field below we bounding through the grass to join the rest of them on the hillside. I think the shepherd had just opened a gate for them to access this area because they had such happiness in their strides.

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Soon we were at the coast and this gorgeous beach unfolded before us. 

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Now, that is a wasp to behold! It’s at least 1.5” long. There were two of them buzzing around this patch of eryngium.
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There was one more headland to ride over before we reached our destination, Buggerru.

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Buggerru is another traditional town, struggling to make a living from tourism after its mine shut down. Mind you, this was probably 50+ years ago. 

We were pretty tuckered out as it was another hot day, around 30 degrees. So we happily settled in for a rest and cleanup. We took a stroll to a beachy bar to top up some fluids and then had a well deserved seafood dinner at a nearby trattoria.

A well deserve seafood linguine.
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Today's ride: 56 km (35 miles)
Total: 1,106 km (687 miles)

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Keith ClassenI was lamenting the last couple days not having access to Open Cycle maps through Guru. Komoot doesn’t quite meet our needs. I do like some of its features but each day the routing it provided is not the route I ended up taking. So I was seriously thinking of trying to load Open Cycle today through the instructions Guru support provided me. But when I opened up Guru it appears that they have reversed their decision with Open-cycle now appearing at the bottom of the list. So you may want to check that out.
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2 years ago