Barumini to Arbus - Springtime Spin in Sardinia 2019 - CycleBlaze

June 5, 2019

Barumini to Arbus

I am still playing catch up on the journal, but there were a few exciting moments to tell you about, so will try to fit it in before I hit the sack. 

We have one region left to explore, the southwest coast, so we are heading back toward to west coast today. According to the Windy app, it looks like the winds will be coming at us as a cross headwind. It’s also going to be hot today, likely around 30 degrees. 

We left Barumini by 9:15 and began our traverse across the flat south/central region just north of Cagliari on a route of our own making. Last night I used Google maps, with the traffic layer highlighted, to select roads that were paved yet lightly travelled and would get us to Arbus. I didn’t build the route electronically though. This is old school navigation which means we have to remember the names of the villages we will aim for.  Sardinian names just don’t stick in our brains so to help remember the village names, places like Paula Arbarai, Lunamatrona, Villanovaforru, Sardari, Pabillonis and Gonnosfanadiga became Polly-wanna-cracker, Lunar-matron, New Village, Sad-area, Pile-o-baloney and Gonna-find-a-friend. And it worked! 

As we crossed the farmland on a small paved road in the morning, we were listening to the birds and admiring the pastoral setting. I had been musing the previous day about how many snakes made it unharmed across the road, considering we see almost one per day that hasn’t made it. Well, it turns out today would be the day we’d see one make it across unharmed. An oncoming Fiat grabbed the attention of the meter long snake in the middle of the road and it began wiggling its way to our side of the road, exactly on course for my front tire. I let out a squeal and gunned it, missing the snake. No doubt, that gave the snake a jolt but David was just a second behind me and by now Mr. Snake was truly rattled. As he headed for David, he raised up his head several inches off the road. David unclipped his shoe and raised his leg to avert any contact and let out a loud gasp/yell but managed to coast through safely. It all happened within about 5 seconds and Mr. snake got to live another day. We were both a little shaken and took a minute or two to thank our lucky stars that we all made it through without injury.

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A short while later, we noticed the sound of the jangling bells from the field getting louder and sure enough, a crowd of woolly boogers was headed our way. We waved and said ‘buon giorno’ to the shepherd then watched the crossing. Again, there was no dog helping out. But there was one loud mouth to keep the crew in order. He hung back and seemed to be barking orders to the slackers at the back of the pack.

Why did the sheep cross the road? Duh....to get to the other side. These are self-herding herds: one shepherd and one head animal barking out orders.
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These roads were really built for the sheep and goats. There are more of them than cars or bikes.
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Lots of olive groves today.
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The wind was strong and not in our favour today.
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Just like Sicily, the foliage grows right up to the road...but in Sardinia it stops at the edge.
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Like Sicily, the ficodindia grow everywhere.
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We stopped at a macellaria here for our lunch. Butchers are more than happy to make sandwiches for us.
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As we rode the steep hill out of town, we noticed a sign for a theatre s we stopped in for a look. It was an open air granite amphitheatre. A crew was setting up the light and sound for an upcoming performance.
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Patty BarronIncredible to think how long ago these were. Jilt, & still in use today!
Not sure if that can be said for more modern architecture, nor if it will last half as long!?
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2 years ago
We marvelled at his theatre, perched atop the hill. How wonderful to see a live performance under the stars here.
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Theatre under the stars? Why not.
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The crosswind became very strong, in the range of 25-30km/h, by lunchtime. We pushed on but both noticed the effects, both in speed/effort and in dehydration.  When we arrived in Gonna-find-a-friend, we headed directly for a bar and ordered a 2L bottle of water and 2 granitas. I promptly gave myself a brain freeze — doh!

These wind turbines were whipping around at a decent pace.
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After cooling down and a 7km climb out of Gonna-find-a-friend, we arrived at our B&B in Arbus. Luciano welcomed us and told us the entire second floor of the building  was available to us. It is his pride and joy and is the culmination of his determination to bring tourism to this region. He pointed out many of the places we need to see in the coming days as we explore the southwest region of Sardinia.

Arbus is home to a well known craftsman who makes specialty knives with handles made of horns. We made our way on foot to the free museum that houses his workshop and his personal knife collection, dating back to the neolithic age. He’s also built the world’s largest knife.

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By now we were getting hungry. It took us anther half hour of walking the vertical streets to figure out that there was only one show in town tonight and it was almost at the highest point in the town. Luckily, it was a good one. 

Seafood linguine.
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Today's ride: 59 km (37 miles)
Total: 1,050 km (652 miles)

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Rachael AndersonI love your navigation technique. We use to have to do that but between a concussion and aging I can’t remember most things longer than about a minute. Sorry to hear about the winds and heat. It’s getting hotter where we are also.
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2 years ago
Scott AndersonGoats and snakes and knives, oh my! What a great day.
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2 years ago
Patty BarronHad to laugh at the ole bossy-boots sheep! 🐑
Thankfully, the snake encounter remained benign.
Again, it’s the history that goes back centuries that continually amazes; an outdoor amphitheater that has lasted centuries! Even a knife museum that would have any in this country paling by comparison!
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2 years ago
Keith ClassenAfter your snake encounter I don’t think I could ever get Kathleen to Sardinia. She is terrified of snakes. My most memorable snake encounter is riding solo on the Kettle Valley rail trail just above Naramata. I had my head down thinking I should turn around soon and head back to Penticton when all of a sudden I am riding directly over a 3” rattlesnake. Fortunately for both of us we both came through unscathed. I stopped, turned around and watched it slither off the bike path.
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2 years ago