Torre del Pozzo to Oristano - Springtime Spin in Sardinia 2019 - CycleBlaze

June 3, 2019

Torre del Pozzo to Oristano

After breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Sea of Sardinia, we said ‘arrivederci’ to our kind host and  pushed off along the coastal road, heading south. Today’s ride is a lolly gag around the Sinis Peninsula and ends in Oristano. 

Breakfast was served on the front balcony, with a mesmerizing view over the Mediterranean.
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The coastal road headed inland for a short while to circumvent a large area of protected pine forest. It rolled up and down over a shoreline dune behind another beautiful beach called Is Arenas. 

We always ride single file with me in the lead when we tour in Europe. It used to be the opposite when we toured in North America, but for some reason we swapped when we started riding in France. As the lead rider, it’s my role to provide warnings of hazards and any changes in speed or course. So whenever I see something truly worthy of a closer look, I try to give a warning to David to cut his engine by yelling out “Stopping! Stopping!”. It’s often because of a flower sighting, but this time it was a small tortoise among the weeds beside the road. I have never seen a tortoise in the wild so it was a real highlight. He (or she) was fairly tentative as we leaned over to take a look and its head quickly retracted under the shell when my shadow fell over it. I sensed it was stressed by how its front leg was quivering, so we backed off after a few pictures. For the next few kilometers our eyes were focused on the shoulders in hopes of finding another.

I screeched to a stop when I saw this little tortoise on the shoulder of the road this morning. (S)he is about 8” long.
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Bill ShaneyfeltMight be a Greek tortoise.

http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Care-Sheets/Turtles-Tortoises/Greek-Tortoise/
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2 years ago

The route flattened out as we headed out onto the peninsula. There are often large stagnos, or brackish ponds, in the flat coastal zones  of Sardinia which have been breeding grounds for mosquitoes over the millenia. With the mosquitoes came malaria, a plague for Sardinians throughout their history. Nowadays the stagnos are breeding grounds for birds and in particular, pink flamingos. As we came upon the first stagnos, we spotted the flamingos and decided to walk out across the dried muddy shoreline to observe them.

These brackish land locked ponds are know as stagnos. Flamingos love the stagnos.
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We couldn’t see them clearly but we could make out their movements and we could certainly listen to them chatter among themselves. No doubt, they were talking about the quality of the food they were finding —- nothing to see over here, try over there!

We walked along the shore for a closer look at the pink vacuum cleaners.
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We both noticed our feet getting heavier as we returned to the bikes. I felt a half an inch taller and knew right away the clay had stuck to the bottom of our shoes. With every step, more clay was building up. Luckily, a few strong whacks of our shoes was enough to loosen the muck from our cleats.

View back to the shore at Torre del Pozzo.
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Today was a day off from riding hills. The terrain on the peninsula is flat to gently rolling and the winds were light.
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One of the 8000 nuraghe’s on Sardinia.
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We were ready for a coffee break by the time we arrived at Putzu Idu and the perfect beach side coffee bar appeared just at the right time. I pulled off my shoes and socks, traipsed across the powdery soft sand and went for a long wade in the knee deep water. Here again, nobody was swimming but it’s definitely getting closer to swimming temperature.  

Spaggia at Puzzu Idu.
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Ha! Here’s another use for those old blue jeans.
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Does it ever stop? Apparently not. We are 3/4 of the way around the island and the beaches just never cease to amaze me.
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Pure bliss.
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This barista made great coffee, spoke english, had the best playlist in all of Sardinia and he has been to and loves Tofino.
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So much of the farmed land we have seen has been untended, particularly the olive groves and the vineyards, so it’s nice to see the land being cultivated.
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Putting on my make-up. That would be SPF 50 lip gloss.
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Kathleen ClassenThat is hilarious. That is my make up regime too, and I reapply frequently!
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2 years ago
The most orderly flock of sheep I think we’ve come across. No herding dog in sight this time, but the shepherd gave a couple of them a good whack on the butt to keep them in line.
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This is the prettiest olive grove we have come across, and we have seen many in this trip. Olive oil is an important product for this area.
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Our route suggested a visit to the a small isthmus called Capo San Marco so we obliged and rode out to the tiny village of San Giovanni. A diversion onto a dusty road  didn’t impress us but we persevered and were rewarded with the best panini’s of the trip at a beachside trattoria.

Rocky beach at our lunch spot.
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This is a typical Sardinian lunch menu. It is too much food for us mid-day so we shared a panini.
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We pick the very best spots to eat...right over a rat trap, this time.
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We did not realize it, but this peninsula is an important archaeological site of  a Phoenician village called Tharros. It is reasonably intact and it was just out of sight over the dune from our lunch spot.

This peninsula is the site of the Phoenician village, Tharros.
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We set out sights on Oristano after lunch. The temperatures were rising into the mid 20’s by this time.

This is an overgrown field of artichokes. Not sure if any were harvested earlier in the year from this plot.
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Artichoke blossom.
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Artichoke, no bloom.
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Nearing Oristano, we came upon an unexpected sight. The low lying land was being used for growing arborio rice. Note to self: try a risotto before the end of the trip.

Rice paddy.
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We had one last beach to visit before the last leg into Oristano, called Torre Grande. It was another beauty.

Beach at Torre Grande.
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Torre Grande, the largest defensive tower in Sardinia is now a big condo for pigeons.
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Our B&B was inside the small historic centre of Oristano. We tucked our bikes in the garage, got cleaned up and went for a stroll and dinner. Within the small centre storico, I counted 11 churches. Our host encouraged us to go inside and have a look at the churches but we only had time for one, the Cathedrale di Santa Maria Assunta.

One of 11 churches in Oristano’s old city.
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Tower that used to connect to a wall around the city of Oristano until they removed the entire wall.
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This is the back of the Pisan tower. They typically had open backs.
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Caprese salad with a green tomato. It is fairly common for Italians to eat raw tomatoes when they are green and to save the ripe ones for sauces.
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Today's ride: 65 km (40 miles)
Total: 929 km (577 miles)

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Suzanne GibsonLove your ride and pictures!
I, too, always ride in front, Janos says so he can see that nothing happens to me, but if I want to stop I have to watch out that he doesn't run into me. I also have to shout and wave my arms, or one arm. 😁
I downloaded your picture of the green tomato caprese, I'm going to try it. Wonder if our green tomatoes are as good as the Sardinian ones.
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2 years ago
Anne MathersTo Suzanne GibsonThanks Suzanne. Nice to know you are along for the journey and enjoying Sardinia with us. I will also be trying the green tomato version. It was chilled, which I think helps.
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2 years ago