Cagliari to Villasimius - Springtime Spin in Sardinia 2019 - CycleBlaze

May 17, 2019

Cagliari to Villasimius

Day one on a tour is always peppered with slight trepidation of heading out into the unknown. Would our preparation be adequate? How’s the weather and wind direction? What will the fully loaded bike feel like? Where are the traffic signals located, can we read the signs we need to see while navigating  and where are street names? And finally, what country is this?  In a few days, these thoughts will be gone as we adapt to the rhythm of cycling in Sardinia. And by the end of the tour, we will see the newbies and remember what it felt like.

We said our arrivederci’s to Ignazio and his son Lorenzo and headed out to join the fray of morning commuters. Most of the streets here are single lane and one way. They are lined with residents’ parked cars so it doesn’t take much traffic for them to reach gridlock. This works in our favor as the traffic inches along slowly and we are able to wiggle and coast our way through the throng. We were headed for Poetto Beach where we knew there was a bike path that would take us away from the city. 

All ready to get this tour on the road.
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Early morning traffic. Note the cars here are all small.
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Along the way, we saw this sign advertising that an international triathlon competition that would be taking place at Poetto Beach on Sunday. We had noticed some uber fit young men on the plane from Barcelona and wondered at the time why they were heading to Sardinia.

We’re leaving an there’s an international triathlon happening Sunday,
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Poetto Beach is a 7km stretch of sand. It was the first beach of many we will see in Sardinia. The triathlon is a short course and will all take place right here. Yes, there will even be a couple of Canadians on the start line.

Poetto Beach.
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We easily found the bike path. I got a little thrill each time a group of cyclists passed us...there goes Austria...there goes Switzerland...and Germany. We almost rode over the start/finish line but we were shooed away by the organizers. Doh....that was a dumb move!

Cycle path along Poetto Beach.
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The triathlon finishing chute.
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There are large brackish lagoons called stagnos situated on the inland side of the beach here and they are an ideal home for pink flamingos. They’re also ideal for mosquitoes 🦟 which get free reign to multiply as the flamingoes are protected here. But let's focus on the birds. They were beautiful to watch as they spooned the mud, their heads submerged most of the time, without a care in the world. They actually looked like vacuum cleaners, only the bird variety.

Flamingoes are protected in the lagoons of Cagliari.
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Scott AndersonWe saw our own flamingo flock today in Puglia, and were thinking back on all the places we’ve seen them now. I’m pretty sure the first time was in this bay in Cagliari.
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2 years ago

The road we spent most of the day on was lightly travelled as there was a faster highway in the hills above us. Our road meandered along the coastal headlands, high up on the hill for the most part. The views of the water and beaches below were stunning. The ancient cacti along the roadside were in bloom, some of them with ripe fruit.

The azure blue water is breath taking.
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The cacti are in bloom.
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Gorgeous coastline to cycle along.
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Jaw dropping coastal waters.
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Looking back on one of the climbs.
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What you can’t see in these photos is the wind we were experiencing. It was blowing from a south easterly direction (same direction we were travelling) about 30km/hr with gusts higher than that. I was hanging on tight on the corners as I knew there would be a strong blast coming up. On the deep inland curves we had moments of serenity.  It was relentless all day but truly, the sunshine and the scenery made up for any extra effort. We did wonder how the triathletes cope with swimming in those rough seas, though.

We stopped for a quick break at Solanas and within minutes of parking our bikes, the wind had toppled both of them. OK, lesson learned: park with more care!

Our destination for today, Villasimius.
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Our final real hill of the day took us to up 130m and this view over Villasimius. Our hotel was on Campulongo Beach, two coves over from Campus Beach seen below. In all, there are 10 beaches nestled along this little corner of Sardinia. In summer it’s a very popular place.

Campus Beach.
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Diving pool at our hotel.
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Coffee bar next to the pool and outdoor lounge.
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Patty BarronThey certainly know how to do things right!
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2 years ago
Campulongo Beach...surf’s up.
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Plant growing in the dune.
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Bill ShaneyfeltMight be sea holly.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eryngium_maritimum
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2 years ago
Patty BarronThe foliage, shapes & structure of this plant are quite amazing!
Quilting inspiration!
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2 years ago
Hotel Fiore di Maggio is a 4 star hotel without a 4 star price.
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The hotel offered a 4 course dinner so we didn’t hesitate to head down at 7pm to enjoy a well deserved meal. I just had to try their hand made culugirones to see how well we had done with ours last night. These ones were served on a cherry tomato pecorino sauce so they won on the presentation. But we both thought ours edged theirs out. I will surely be holding a culugirones party when I get home. Other dishes includes clams on spaghetti, calamari with fresh made potato chips, suckling pig, and a traditional Sardinian dessert. We washed it all down with Sardinian beer and a Sardinian white wine. What a great way to cap off our first day of riding in Sardinia!

Culugirones, with sage on pecorino tomato cream.
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Patty BarronAbsolutely! The best way to finish off your day’s ride!!
We all know that certain someone who is going to be truly envious of your style! 😉
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2 years ago
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Today's ride: 51 km (32 miles)
Total: 51 km (32 miles)

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Patty BarronThnx for sharing your journey with those of us at home, travelling vicariously through your fantastic pics of the stunning scenery, & your always interestingly written blog.
You take us to beautiful places! May you continue on a safe trip!
🤗 💕, P&T
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2 years ago