Sardinia trip report- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Sardinia trip report

    Sardinia is pretty big meditarenean island south of Corsica, it's Italian soil. So far the geography lesson :-). We drove to the port of Genua in the north of Italy and took the nightboat to Olbia. Once off the ferry, we drove a bit more south to Cala Gonone where we unloaded the bikes and the fun could begin.



    We spent a week biking in the central-eastern part of the island, for me the region with the most impressive scenery of Sardinia - beaches & mountains blending into each other.



    Here're we're about to dive down to Cala Gonone, it's getting quite late (again...).



    After the "warming up ride" along the coast we went for a 5-day loop into the mountains. The guy with the big grin is Karl, the current financial guy behind Sandman. He doesn't bike as often as he'd like, but when he does it's all fun & good food and wine in the evenings :-) - way to go Karl !



    The typical shepherders sheds which dot the island. A rather weird and time consuming affair to make a roof if you ask me, but it sure makes for good pictures !



    Prime fabike terrain !



    A herd of free-roaming pigs getting in Karl's way. There are lots of them on Sardinia, the smoked hams are delicious - better than Parma ham and pretty close to the pata negra jamon in southern Spain.



    We spent a week co-guiding a group of skinny-tired bikers and then went exploring other "trails" on our own.



    For this kind of work a fatbike is extremely suited, all fun & awe at the beauty of the surroundings.



    The side canyon dropped us into the sandy wash of a bigger one, niiice :-).





    We hadn't seen a soul all day, and when you finally meet someone you don't complain. Definitely not when you round a turn and you notice by the passer-by's attire that you're approaching the beach :-).



    Group hug, a Gobi and a Hoggar cuddling on the beach.



    We ended up on a secluded beach with this most impressive yacht anchored right in front of us. The thing looked more like a stealth warship than a private yacht (I googled it back home and it belongs to some Russion billionaire, the thing is more than 300 ft long... google yacht & starck if you're interested). It sure made a perfect background for a nice picture.



    Then we were off to the mountains again, canyons, rock arches, the works...



    We found ourselves a dream of a trail, almost 1000 meter above sea level and with grandiose views.



    Which were soon obscured by a thunderstorm rolling in... it caught us just at a rim ofcourse. The "mist" you see on the rocks is actually pulverised rain, driven by a gale over the rim. I stayed reasonably dry huddling behind a rock, the rain and hail were driving by almost horizontally. The bike got bowled over...



    After rain comes sunshine, and one of the most incredible downhills I've ever had the pleasure to bike. It would have been no fun on a skinny tired bike (loose rocks, gravel & sand) but it was heaven on our fatbikes :-). Sorry I didn't take any more pictures, I was having too much fun.



    We arrived at another beach, where there were regular boat shuttles to Cala Gonone. The skipper didn't even blink an eye when we asked if he could take our bikes :-).



    Now this is biking ;-) !



    The skipper made short work of it, really letting his RIB fly. These two couples in the bow were trying to get out of the breeze and the spray - wimps ;-).



    At the port, some nice murals...



    The artist still at work ;-).



    And a seal checking out a weird bike. If you've got the opportunity, do check out Sardinia: beautiful island, good trails, nice people and delicious food. What more does a biker need :-) ?


  2. #2
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    Nice pics, nice bikes, nice trip!

  3. #3
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    Great post!
    owner/raconteur at fat-bike.com

  4. #4
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    I want to be a russian billionaire

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by captbuck View Post
    I want to be a russian billionaire
    +1.... You've got to see that ship to believe it, the sides flip open for the tenders - straight out of a James Bond movie .
    Even for a superyacht it's huge and it oozes biiig money.


  6. #6
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    wow, great adventure and stunning biking!
    2014 milage so far - 2,485
    www.ukfatbikes.co.uk

  7. #7
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    Looks like a great ride and an amazing boat! Thanks for the post!

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    Cool!

  9. #9
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    WOW!!! Caminoloco, your posts are always entertaining and with great photographs!!! Thanks for sharing.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

  10. #10
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    Disfruto mucho viendo tus fotos y tus viajes un huevo,I enjoy with your travels and your photos a lot

  11. #11
    All fat, all the time.
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    Dang, you get around don't you???

    Awesome Thanks for the pics, too cool!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Dang, you get around don't you???

    Awesome Thanks for the pics, too cool!
    Glad you enjoy it, but I only bike a fraction of what I would like. And it's not only fun. It involves hardship as well... Like this one :

    One evening up in the Sardinian mountains I was trying to bleed the front brake of a friends bike. To no avail, I must have pumped 2 liters of brake fluid back & forth between 2 syringes. I didn't have much dot brake fluid so I was left with two options: either I wasn't pumping enough fluid through to purge the air (I might pump bubbles back & forth without them exiting), or the piston was faulty (it later turned out to be that).

    Off I went in search of more dot brake fluid at 9pm in an Italian mountain village. And my Italian isn't what it used to be, I can order a beer with confidence but that's about it...

    I got around asking around the locals of a bar, and after much explaining (with the aid of a Vespa parked next to the bar) they finally had the "aha" moment and the waitress (!) took off in search for the precious liquid.

    While they had me waiting, the locals started bumping elbows and talking to the barkeeper. And sure enough, the guy went out as well and returned a few minutes later with a paper wrapper which held a cheese.
    They invited me to taste it with smiles as wide as barndoors and only then I realised I was set up. But in a good way, because the cheese was the (in)famous Casu Marzu cheese. It's a speciality of Sardinia and it involves a cheese and a lot of maggots... I had never seen it but after cutting it open it was just crawling with worms !
    But the thing is that I'm a sucker for local dishes (the grosser, the better) and I had been hearing about this (mostly illegal) cheese for a long time.

    The Casu Marzu is made by letting special flies lie their eggs on a cheese. The eggs hatch and the maggots start to consume the cheese - you basically eat maggot-digested-cheese . They have to be alive, because once the maggots die, the cheese isn't edible anymore.

    I took a good look at it. At first nothing seemed wrong... until the barkeep put a knife in it. The comic book pictures of maggots jumping out of the cheese is absolutely true - those things can easily jump like 3" !!!
    All was good: I finally got to taste it (spicy ). The locals got their good-natured laughs - especially when I put on a show of "hunting down" the worms that were escaping (yes, I ate them...). And I got to take away an old, dusty, almost empty dot bottle of brake fluid and a chunk of the Casa Marzu to share with my biking friends as an appetizer just before dinner.

    One of them took an iphone video - look closely .


  13. #13
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    i saw the video...ummm nasty ....but....why not?

  14. #14
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    Caminoloco:

    Thanks for the report...enjoyed the pics and your story. The pic of the mural...the bike looks as if it belongs. (second pic)

    Myself, haven't had much to eat for a while, that Casu Marzu would be tempting. Any odor that goes with it, to turn off the taste buds?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sand Rat View Post
    Myself, haven't had much to eat for a while, that Casu Marzu would be tempting. Any odor that goes with it, to turn off the taste buds?
    It stinks . But that's not unsurmountable, just don't breathe while close to it and slowly breathe out during chewing (with all the maggots crawling around, you WANT to chew). The only thing I couldn't bring myself to eat was a pig's snout. A family we were staying at had prepared - as a special treat - pigs feet.
    I'll eat those when I have to, but I'm not a very big fan (all skin & gelatin, no meat) so when I spotted something else than a cloven hoof on the platter, I forked it on my dish.

    Only to stare into the nostrils and the last chubby 2" of a pigs nose... I couldn't, just couldn't bring myself to eat it. So I hurriedly dumped it on the platter again.
    My dear wife, who had just finished a pigs foot as well and didn't see what happened, spotted the very same chunk of "non-hoof" and forked it too...

    She's probably brought up better than me and/or men are the weaker sex: I'll admire her forever for the way she cleaned her plate without blinking an eye.

    It did involve elegant, but rather large gulps of wine after each bite though .

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