After our beach visit in Stintino, we ride into the city of Alghero, about an hour away, to settle in for the evening. We found a room available in an apartment online on Booking.com. Although it looked very basic, it was affordable and I suspect it would normally be out of our price range were it the height of tourist season.
When we arrived in the city centre, we couldn't find the exact address of our place. Neda had to stop and ask passerbys for directions. So thankful she speaks Italian! A younger, college-aged girl was extremely helpful and offered to walk us to the apartment, which just so happened to be around the corner. Neda went to check in and I stayed with the bikes.
I've been on point on communications duty for the both of us for the last while, and it felt good to just relax for a change.
I'm so freakin' tired these days.
Our place for the night in Alghero
As we unpacked our bikes to bring all the bags inside, we became quite the objects of curiousity as old Italian nonnas on their evening stroll around the neighbourhood stopped to stare at us with interest.
"Ciao!", I waved to them, speaking one of the only six Italian words I know. They smiled and nodded shyly and moved on.
I don't think we were the curiousity. I think *I* was... :D
Once inside the apartment, we found out that we were the only ones booked there, despite there being three rooms in total. We had the whole place to ourselves. Score! I love traveling in the off-season!
The next morning, we set off further south, hugging the coast out of Alghero
It's a wonderful ride, the sun is shining on the twisty tarmac below our wheels, great view of the sea to our right, dramatic mountains on our left!
The coastal road turns up into the mountains and we stop for a break at a scenic turnout. A friendly stray dog comes bounding up to greet us. He seems very socialized to people. Perhaps someone's former pet? Or perhaps he can smell the doggy treats in Neda's tankbag?
"Awww... who's a good boy? Yes! You're a good boy! You're sooooo good!"
Besides riding around the world, I believe it's now our unofficial mission to feed all the stray dogs around the world.
The Goodest Boy
I'm a good boy too, Neda. Take a picture of meeeeee!
Back on the road to do more mountain twisties
The route descends back to the coast as we come up to the next major city on our way south
Oristano. Very pretty, but we don't spend much time here.
We're feeling a little bit tired. I think we're going to call it a day and stop somewhere around here. Yes, I know. We've only gone about 120 kms today and we're already done. Ride for a couple of hours, rest for a couple of days. This travel fatigue is kind of getting out of hand...
So we tried to book a place in Oristano for the evening, but we can't find the same deal we got in Alghero. Too expensive. Instead, we ride about 20 minutes outside of town to stay on a farm just outside the town of Marrubiu.
The couple that owns the farm has a couple of guest suites on site that they rent out to tourists
Surrounded by all this nature, it turned out to be a much more picturesque place to stay than in the city. We just had to ride a bit into the neighbouring town to grab some groceries, since there was absolutely nothing around us.
Preparing to leave the next morning... is it my imagination or is it getting warmer?
Sardinia is not that big, only slightly larger than Corsica at 260 kms lengthwise. So I'm not sure if this warmer weather is the result of us moving further south in latitude or just the daily temperature fluctuations. But we don't complain, as we ride out of the farm into the brilliant, sunny day without any sweater or any base layers on underneath our mesh motorcycle jackets. I can't remember the last time it was this warm!
Not a cloud in the sky and there's mid-20s on the forecast for today. Nice!
Today we are going to try to hug the western coast as much as possible, all the way until the edge of the land curves from south to east
Somewhere near the southern shores, we spy this fantastic beach from the road
I'm not really sure where we are, we're just exploring all the little roads that follow the shoreline. Later on I try to retrace our route on the map. I believe this is Capo Pecora.
We want to get as close to the water as possible. Trying to find a way down to the beach
Good a place to park as any
Grabbing our swimsuits and towels and heading towards the inviting, crystal blue waters
Neda is scouting around for a place to lay our towels down
Kicking off our boots and soaking up some much-needed sun and warmth
Thinking about staying here forever
Swimming around all the little pools inside the rocky shoreline. Despite the warm weather, the water is FREEZING COLD!
I think this epitomizes what we love most about riding motorcycles around the world. Just wandering around with everything you need and own on the back of your bike. No schedule... if you see something interesting, just pull over and take all the time you want to explore without rushing to meet some kind of deadline. It could be a monument or a vibrant, major metropolitan city. Or it could just be a pretty, deserted beach out in the middle of nowhere.
The world truly feels like our oyster.
Continuing our shoreline trek, lots of empty sandy beaches around but no tourists
The road winds high above the cliffs of the southern shores and we get some breathtaking views over the barrier
Here's a video recap of the roads around Corsica & Sardinia. Enjoy!
We arrive at the southern end of Sardinia, near the port town of Cagliari.
Relaxing in Quartucci, at the very end of Sardinia
We've booked a couple of nights at a really nice guest house in the suburb of Quartucci, cheaper than staying right downtown near the ferry. Which means it's decision-time, once again.
We never really resolved our "discussion" in Marseille. I wanted to go to Tunisia. Neda wanted to drop the bikes off in Croatia and fly to Thailand.
I admit that the Corsica -> Sardinia side-trip was a trick to get Neda to eventually come around to crossing over to Northern Africa. I told her, "Let's just traverse the islands, it'll be sunny and lazy and we can take our time. We'll ride down the western side of the islands, and when we get to the tip of Sardinia, if you don't want to go to Tunisia, we'll just come back up the eastern side of the islands and go straight to Pula."
Come on, I can't be the only guy to ever beg a girl: "Just the tip"...
Hey, there's a Pula in Sardinia! Who knew...
Well, here we are at the tip. And I'm friggin' exhausted. I can't continue riding into Tunisia, let alone back up Sardinia and Corsica again. I just want to catch a ferry straight to Croatia right now, dump the bikes and lie on a beach forever in Thailand.
Neda smirks knowingly. She knew I'd run out of energy. My little "Just the tip" scheme backfired spectacularly.