UTB Sardinia 3 – From Castelsardo To Alghero

Good Friday, April, 22nd, 2011, third leg.

Alghero is the Spanish town on Sardinia. Allegedly, many natives still speak Catalan.  This is where we want to go today.

Around 10 a.m., we leave our Bed&Breakfast at Castelsardo (incidentally, it cost 50 Euros) and start for Alghero, which we think must be around 100 kilometres from here. To be sure, there is not much difference in altitude (by our estimate, around 700 metres).

It is a rainy Good Friday. Is this going to be the one obligatory rainy day of our entire tour? Or will it be one of many? At Castelsardo, we buy some oranges and water for the next lunch. Then we depart. The temperature is lower today, too.

Around 12.30 p.m., we arrive at Porto Torres (Sardinian:  Pòrtu Tòrres). Since it is so cold, we do not feel like eating those oranges out in the open. Instead, we decide to go and eat in a restaurant. We eat a “Tourists Menu”.

For 12 Euros, we get pasti as aperitif, a main course, some salad and, for dessert, fruit salad. We do not even have to pay for the cutlery (usually 2 Euros or more). We have never before eaten so cheaply on Sardinia.

And it really tastes delicious. Then we continue on our bikes. It is even a little warmer now (around 16 degrees Celsius). In between, there is always some drizzle or rain. To be sure, this is no constant rain which would be quite a pest on a long-distance bike tour. It is only a bit of a nuisance. And as soon as you glimpse some sun, it disappears immediately.

To make up for it, the route is again enchanting. We always ride along the cost, only abbreviating sometimes where there is a peninsula. Traffic, too, is a lot less dense than during the last few days.

The bikes do their work well and thus we arrive at Alghero around 6 p.m. after a little more than 95 kilometres. The first hotel we try, directly in the old city centre, is already full. But not far from there, the La Margherita has a vacancy. It includes “sea view”, a huge bed, free WLAN, breakfast between 7.30 and 10 a.m. and a nice spa service. It costs 100 Euros.

We take it, enjoy the pool and the Turkish steam-bath for a while. Then there is the big Good Friday procession. It is actually quite impressive, with beautiful, very sad music. Perhaps a little on the creepy side.

Afterward, we eat dinner: we find what we want at the “trattoria appenaprima”. We share a plate of aperitifs with assorted sea food, Spaghetti Vongole and fried calamari. It all tastes great (and it is really expensive, too).
On the way back to the hotel, we are fascinated. It is Good Friday, the streets are extremely crowded, joyful music can be heard from all the pubs and on all the squares and roads; the mood is festival-like. I would never have imagined it like this.

Consequently, we indulge in a small portion of Italian ice-cream (piccolo for 1.60 €) on this Good Friday. Delicious!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Due to the rain, I did not take many pictures. That is why you can only see three pictures of me, taken by Barbara. Sorry! And here is our interim count: during the first three days, we rode almost 270 kilometres, we had two sunny days and one rainy day and we slept in three beautiful towns. And tomorrow, we get to do some serious work: another 100 kilometres await us, but this time there will be almost 2,000 metres of altitude to cover. Well, let’s wait and see.

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