View from afar of the hillside town of Bosa
Well, the last leg of the tour also just had to incorporate a gradual day-long inch-our-way-south drive which took in as many points of interest as a day would permit, but this was a familiar procedure by now, so careful route-planning was more in the shape of mental than written notes. The first stop-off point was the colourful hillside town of Bosa, which I somehow suspect has been overlooked somewhat by visitors to the island who prefer to stay in more established tourist centres. A local market added to the town's atmosphere, and the town's main square revealed traces of building styles which were actually prevalent across the whole island. However, Bosa also did seem to have an identity all of its own, and a view of the colourful houses encrusted into the hillside drew parallels with the northern town of Castelsardo more than any other spot on the island.
Public building in central Oristano
The next node on the itinerary was about as eerily alluring as it could get, at least in the realm of uncharted territory and low-profile destinations. The town of San Salvatore is famed for being the location where a fair number of spaghetti western movies were filmed, and the basic layout of the town alludes to this status, though it does not however follow the US model for wild west film settings. The fact that the entire town consists of equal-height buildings around a dusty square and was wholly deserted suggests that any sign of life ever to have existed there perhaps died a death and was only revived, albeit momentarily, for the purpose of shooting a film. A short ride east brings you to the inland town of Oristano
, which is again a fine collection of architectural styles and tranquil-pace Italian living, and provided another snapshot of Sardinian life.
View from higher vantage point of Chia beach
Time was of the essence, so cramming in a visit to Sa Spendula waterfall just outside the town of Villacidro
was a smart move, and another good photo opportunity to boot. The town of Assemini
, the location of the third and final (quality) hotel, is quiet yet developed enough to be considered suburban Cagliari, and was a good base to sample the delights of the south coast. Chia beach, just over an hour's drive away, was the fourth and final beach encounter on the trip, proving that they all have an air of consistency about them, and driving to Cagliari's port to spend an afternoon in the island's capital city was the final piace of the Sardinian jigsaw. Cagliari itself is a fair-sized city which has a few key reference points, namely an ancient outdoor ampitheatre, a pretty cathedral, a decent selection of shops and eateries, and enough scope for urban exploration depending on what time frame you are operating within.
Public building close to the marina area of Cagliari
All in all, Sardinia lived up to the hype, and it makes a refreshing change to come across an island not so overrun by tourist trappings that its original nature has been somewhat tainted. It makes me wonder how neighbouring island Corsica would fair for a similar-length stay, the French island being far more compact than its Italian neighbour, but on the whole, the combination of weather, scenery, styles, food and hospitality makes holidays of this nature spring happily to life, and I'm all but sated until the next overseas jaunt....!