Oh man was I need of a weekend away from the boat. I can’t say it was anyone else’s fault but my own, but I was just feeling ratty, tired and annoyed. Boat life, sometimes it is the best thing ever, but some times it can feel incredibly claustrophobic and then throw in a little homesickness and Cala Gonone becomes the call you just NEED to answer.
It has been a particularly long season, with our boss living on board for five months, with less than ten days off in those five months. So, I guess, perhaps, partially, my rattiness was slightly justified. And then my soul sister, Daniela, got hold of me and told me that they were coming to Sardinia, her favourite place in the world. While I think Porto Cervo is beautiful, I wouldn’t quite say it was my favourite place in the world. However, she said that further down South, the beaches were incredible and the towns were affordable. We didn’t need much convincing, so without too much chat with Bryce, I booked a car and a (wait for it) Camping Site for us, for one night!
And then, just as I had got myself packed and excited, I got a message to say that the day off the following day was not 100% confirmed. G U T T E D. To say the least. I know Bryce hates wasting money and we hadn’t paid for anything yet, so I thought he might suggest I cancel it incase we had to come back that night (it was already 1pm). But, he surprised me, told me we should go anyway and if we had to, we could drive back late that night or early tomorrow morning. P H E W.
So we picked up our car, sorted out some music and headed towards Olbia, leaving closed down Porto Cervo in our rearview mirror. We needed to be contactable and so finding some data (which sounds like an easy task) became a high priority. With Olbia being the biggest and closest hub, we tried our best to avoid the mall. But after trying all the small Tabbacs – that only sold credit and not data- we had to bite our pride and brave the mall rats. Bryce beelined for the grocery store and I stood behind two old ladies questioning every possible mobile contract they could buy to the ONLY employee at the store. Patience. I was keen to get to Cala Gonone.
Finally, we were on the road, armed with camping food and some road trip snacks. Nothing was getting between us and our destination. Bar my poor sense of direction. This time Bryce was practising p a t i e n c e. That weekend feeling took over as the roads opened up some beautiful landscapes and the smell of something new filled us up with great excitement. The landscape we drove through was beautiful, Sardinia has a very dramatic “scape”, the coastlines are rugged and lined with large dark granite and milky limestone cliff faces, there are interesting land mounds jutting out in the middle of nowhere and the strangely prickly, somewhat fynbos like flora and fauna reminds me a little of home. And then, the architecture is interesting to. I’m not the only one who thinks this – so don’t think me strange- but it reminds me a little of a modern day Flinstones village- with large stone walls and rounded windows and doors.
While we were driving we got the confirmation that the day was in fact an OFF day the next day, which meant we had the freedom to explore for the entire day! Hallelujah!
We pulled into our camping site around 7pm, chatted to the incredibly friendly staff and then went to find our little cabin. I was so stoked, the trees grew tall and everywhere around the campsite there were famillies in their caravans and tents, kids were cycling all around and playing cricket in between the trees, there was that smell of fires being made to cook dinner and that dull buzz of night time insects. It was amazing. Exactly what i needed.
Our cabin was perfect! A tiny wooden square, with a balcony, fully kitted out with a table, chairs, sink and all kitchen utensils one might need for a simple meal. We just had to start our fire. And so after missioning in the town for some blitz and matches we came back to our spot and grabbed our goodies. There was a communal camping braai area, with a couple of benches and a few brick braais. Bryce got some man points as he built up the fire, while I made some garlic bread (hopefully earning myself some lady points) and set up our card game. Man, it was so good, to feel so close to nature and to be enjoying such simple pleasures. I can easily say it was one of the best meals I have had in a long time and it was just salad and home made garlic bread.
Unfortunately our camping etiquette let us down and we were out of practise, not 100% aware of what they did with their used coals and how to clean up after ourselves in the correct “camping way”. With the sizzling braai meat and pungent garlic bread, we made our way back to the cabin to make some salad and crack open a cold beer. It was just so good. Our card games kept us entertained for hours. Finally when climbing into bed, we were stoked – the bed was comfie and the duvet was warm, falling asleep with massive smiles on our faces.
We’d agreed to a sunrise mission. Luckily for Bryce, the sun rises quite late here, and so at 7am when the alarm went off, he was pretty happy to climb out of bed and go for a mission down to the beach. We found a pretty secret little spot, where we watched another day break in nature’s beautiful way. The beach we had found, was decorated with lots of cairns. Big ones, small ones, crazy ones, humble ones. It was beautiful, the sun dancing off all the edges of the stones, placed so carefully by all the travellers before us.
And after a wander along the coast, we headed back to our cabin, for a delicious home made brunch feast. Absolutely delicious. And I’m so glad we had such a biggie, because little did we know, we wouldn’t eat again, until dinner 🙂
Because… we found a BEAUTIFUL beach! We thought we would move around once we met up with Marcel and Daniela, but once we started chatting, the sun, the sand and the sea became so comforting there that moving just didn’t feel right. So we stayed there, on Cala Fuili, watching the climbers all around us, enjoying the sunshine baking on us and occasionally dipping into the aquamarine (and chilly waters!). It was so great!
But once the sun had gone down and we had eaten through the fruit supplies and drunk all of our water, we were all starving and ready for a bite to eat. So we headed back to the car and back towards town, taking a quick detour to Dan and Marcel’s AirBNB for a warm shower.
One of the things Bryce has introduced into my life, which I love- is the split three course food tour. So if we are in a new city or town, we will do a starter at one spot, a main at another and a dessert at another. We introduced this to the others and they loved the idea. We had a delicious starter at a waterside restaurant, watching the sun going down and then had our main at a luscious garden restaurant I had seen earlier in the day. We were a little rushed, as we were needing to drive back around 8pm, the roads were quite tricky.
But while tucking into our delicious mains; for me, a mussel pot brewed in an Italian tomato broth, with occasional fork fulls of Bryce’s Penne Arrabiata, we got a text message; the boss was no longer coming when we thought she was and therefore we had ANOTHER day off the following day. Bryce had barely finished his mouthful and he was in the car, on the way to the campsite to see if they had space for us for another night.
WOOOHOOOO….they did….and so the adventure continued!