Dorgali to La Caletta - Springtime Spin in Sardinia 2019 - CycleBlaze

May 22, 2019

Dorgali to La Caletta

Our stop in Dorgali left us well positioned for today’s ride. It was 17km from down the summit of the Genna Silane summit to our B&B and another 20 km from there to the coastal road. So, not only was it beautiful clear weather but it was also downhill on a great road.

B&B Miranna, where the young mom spoiled us with a great breakfast spread, as she sent her two young boys off to school.
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The views of the coast are spectacular every time you gain a bit of elevation here. We stop quite regularly to take photos but this morning’s first stop overlooking the coast is one I will always remember. I was pulled over near the guardrail overlooking an old olive grove and thinking to myself that there weren’t any special flowers to look at. Not two seconds later, I spotted something weird in a treetop below me. I thought it was an old glove but quickly realized I was looking at a very large snake, soaking up the morning rays while it laid coiled up in the branches. I am not a fan of snakes but I was oddly fascinated that a snake would sleep in a tree so I just looked at him and he at me. I thank my lucky stars he didn’t move because that’s the part that I have trouble with. OK, so I don’t want this to be a regular occurrence but I think that I have seen a snake every second day on this trip. Sadly for the snakes, most of them have been roadkill.

Ah, the things you see when you don’t expect them! I thought it was a glove discarded by a passerby into the bushes but it turned out to be a ginormous snake sleeping!
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Bill ShaneyfeltMight be a green whip snake.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_whip_snake
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2 years ago

I have a mirror attached to my helmet so I can be aware of my surroundings at all times.  On the descent this morning, it served double duty as I watched the impressive mountains of the Gennargentu Range recede behind me with each passing minute.

We rode over those mountains yesterday.
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We were still descending when we came upon an industrial site, not the sort of thing one usually enjoy’s from the seat of a bicycle. But this was different. The road took us right through a massive travertine stone quarry! We watched a crane load a large truck-bed  with stone slabs that had been polished to a beautiful glossy shine. I googled it and learned that this ‘cave’ as they call it, is just 15 years old. 

Blocks of travertine.
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Travertine stone blocks were moved around by this crane.
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Travertine is mined all over the world. It’s a form of limestone and comes in many colours, depending on its origin. 

Close up of the colour and pattern found in travertine.
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It was fascinating to watch the tractors extracting massive blocks of stone from the hillside. We took our time, climbing up on the blocks to get a view deep down in the quarry. We could see huge fissures in the quarry which would have been filled with water at some point. The upper stone had a lot of orange colouration, while the stone at the bottom of the pit looked very white.

This photo shows about a quarter of the travertine mine.
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Seeing the quarry this morning allowed us to connect the dots on something we’d seen at a remote beach a couple of days ago. We were puzzled at the time because there was a long stretch of travertine sidewalk alongside a dirt road that led to the beach. In our world, this is expensive stone, so it seemed an odd location for such an exotic sidewalk. Now that we have seen the quarry’s scrap heap, it makes sense.

The scrap heap.
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There are beaches upon beaches all along this east coast of Sardinia and we certainly can’t see them all. We try to balance it out so we keep good progress without missing out on these glorious strips of sand and emerald waters. 

Beach at Cala Liberotto. Anyone for a nice camping spot at the beach under gorgeous pine trees?
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Sandstone outcropping at the beach. I checked for sea snakes as I walked out there!
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Surveying the beautiful coastline. I’m not looking in the bushes any more!
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The ride today almost reminded me of the coast along northern California with the grassy fields, the eucalyptus and the big pine trees. There are no cork trees in northern California, though. Traffic was light and the road meandered along, without any serious climbs. 

Cork trees are common in this part of Sardinia. This one has had a couple of harvests.
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The sheep were feeling the heat as they tucked their heads under one another. Seems counter-intuitive but it’s what they do.
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There are plenty wetlands behind the dunes all along the coast, home to all sorts of flora and fauna.
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We had chosen to stop at the small low-key town of La Caletta today. Our host Antonello, was intrigued to see us pull up on our folding bikes. He is also a cyclist and an outdoorsman and has a folding bike as well. 

Beach at La Caletta.
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Posada is one of the ‘most beautiful villages of Sardinia’ and is situated just 4k from La Caletta so we dumped our gear and beetled over to explore its medieval village.

Torre at La Caletta.
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Posada’s history actually goes back about 3000 years, but the tower itself was built in the 13th century. We didn’t try to go up in the tower as we are getting plenty of stunning views from the seats of our bikes. 

Historic Posada.
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Posada streetscape.
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Tower perched on top of a hill with neolithic caves in the rocks.
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Doorway in Posada. People of those times were considerably shorter in stature.
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Home of the cat colony in Posada
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Painting in Cat Alley.
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I love door knockers.
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Antonello had recommended a restaurant across the street from his B&B and as a bonus, it opened for dinner at 7pm. We shared a very simple caprese salad with a burrata cheese that I seriously hope we find again on this trip. The salad was sublime.

The simplicity of a caprese salad is off the chain. We dressed it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and ground pepper.
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I had the sea bream.
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David had the lasagne.
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Dessert is a nougat semifreddo.
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Today's ride: 70 km (43 miles)
Total: 337 km (209 miles)

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Anne AnastasiouSounds like another great day. Love those cat tiles. And the dinner looked delicious. The buildings and colour remind me of parts of Spain. Love, Anne
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2 years ago
Patty BarronWhat an interesting ride; travertine quarry, cork tree, snake “viewing” & of course, fabulous food!
Always so enjoyable to read, & follow you both. 🤗, 🤗
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2 years ago