Our first newly weds !!

We were very flattered to have a lovely couple from Belgium choosing specifically our villa for their wedding and first part of their honeymoon.
The wedding ceremony was held in the grounds underneath Castelsardo castle. Bert and Kelly very kindly invited us and it was beautiful. Though we did not understand Flemish, we could feel the emotion and strength of their commitment.
This was followed by a delicious meal in an agriturismo and winery near Sorso.

Knowing how much Bert and Kelly meticulously planned every detail of their wedding, it was an honour to hear them say it was the best place they ever stayed at .

Here is their review :
A little place called paradise … (5 out of 5 stars)
“The Villa Nuraghe simply is the best place we ever rented as a vacation residence! Quiet location, clean, not too far from the sea but very private. All needed comfort (pool, well equipped bathroom, kitchen, …) with an extraordinary service from the super friendly owners who will do their utmost to make your stay as good as it can be… Top establishment with top service for a more than honest price!”

2 local via ferratas

Happy New Year to you all. May you have fun, travel loads and discover many great things about the world around you and yourselves !!
This post has been 5 months in the offing as we did 2 local via ferratas this summer.
I suggested to Malc that he prepares the post for a change as he was a very keen free climber back in the 80s. This obviously did not happen in time ūüėČ and after all, the impressions of the VF might as well come from a semi beginner like me.

So here are my memories and impressions of those climbs .
The 1st one we did was the Cabirol ferrata in Alghero. http://www.ferratacabirol.it/

Absolutely beautiful and panoramic scenery from the cliff face as you tower over the clear blue sea of the Porto Conte bay. From the rock face, the big tourist boats looked like lego ones, lol !

Make sure to start the VF by 10am at the very latest as it is positively cooking on the cliff face which is in the full sun by 2pm.
We left Perfugas about 8am and arrived at the site at 9am which was perfect.
There is free parking near the start. The approach is longer than stated on the website, I would say about 30 mns minimum, all uphill. There is a large cave at the top which can be clearly seen on the approach and is a good place, with stunning views, to enjoy a cool drink and sort out your gear before you start the climb.

The1st section is a ledge and is more of a stroll really, with some protection. At the end of it, you have the 22 metres long vertical section and short traverse . This can feel a little exposed, especially in a keen breeze from the sea. So let me be clear, if you suffer from vertigo, don’t do it !! And if you have poor arms muscles like i turned out to have, this may be a challenge. I attacked it fairly quickly as those metal steps constituting the vertical are on a slight overhang and I could feel my arms getting tired by having to support my own body weight. I should have listened to Malc’s advice about using the extra sling and carabina to allow me to clip on to the metal rung and hang in my harness whenever I felt like a rest.

After that, the second ledge starts. It is very narrow in places and there are some interesting moments to be had, especially if you are 5,2 ft and need to seriously stretch at times or are 6,2 in which case you will have ‚Äúextra fun‚ÄĚ in some sections too. It is not difficult but some sections have an overhang which means leaning out on the wire whilst placing feet carefully on the rocks. Again this can feel quite exposed, but the beauty of the rock and the sea are fully realised on this section.
There are plenty of places to stop, have a rest and enjoy the panorama.
This VF can be done clockwise or counter clock wise. However, I would not like to have to cross over somebody on some narrower ledges so I would recommend to keep to the usual climbing direction.

We rounded up this climb with a coffee at a small local beach and finished with a succulent fish meal

The second climb, called Via della regina, was in the village of Monte Leone. This time, the panorama is countryside, by a lake. http://www.ferrataregina.it/
You can freely park near the church at the top of the village. The approach to the site takes about 30 mns. You will notice many bolted climbs routes along the way.

What sticks more in memory is the start up a wire rope ladder to a slightly over-hanging vertical climb, more than 20 metres this time round with a longer traverse This is the most difficult part of the via ferrata but good fun! For me it was less of a challenge than the other VF as I learnt to rest in my harness when I felt like it. Not to mention the fortnight of presses and various toning exercices after the Cabirol VF ūüėČ

The other interest thing is the 20 metre long Tibetan bridge , not too long but nice sensations.


As always, great views and plenty of resting places and long strolls between the climbs.
I overall felt this VF was easier; though Malc with the heavy safety rope in his rucksack may beg to differ ūüôā

Pool photo shoot

On a beautiful May morning,I convinced my parents and Malcolm to pose for me by the pool.

I took some pictures from the roof, from various angles on the ground … I even got my folks to play¬† badmington and they surprised me by being¬†pretty good at it too …

So here is the result of that fun morning under the May sun

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More pictures of beautiful places to visit near the villa

I was lazily messing about on¬†Facebook a while back when I came across this page “la sardegna vista da vicino”. What surprised me most was the amount of pictures taken locally (between 20 mins and less than 2H00′ s drive¬†from the villa) .¬†So I’ m sharing them here¬†.

I would like to particularly thank Danilo Loriga for these stupendous pictures,¬†“Airgallura”¬†¬†(Manca Giovanni Antonio) that enabled all those arial shoots as well as the owners of “la Sardegna vista da vicino” Facebook page that share so generously the beauty that is to be discovered on this amazing Island. Check that beautiful site on www.facebook.com/pages/La-Sardegna-Vista-da-Vicino/291471094257704?fref=ts

The following pictures¬†are mostly aerial pictures taken between Isola Rossa and Valledoria, 20 mins to 35 mins’ drive from the villa :

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The following are from Tempio (40 mins’ drive):

The following ones are from Castelsardo, 40 mins’ drive away :

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The following are from Bosa, which was voted second prettiest borough of Italy in 2014(nearly 2H00 drive) :

 

The following are from near Santa Theresa (1h30 drive):

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Glorious May

I took the following serie of pictures Mid May. The villa was free and I asked my parents and Malc to “play photoshoot” by the pool. I found some of the colours rather washed out as it was such a sunny and bright day. But you’ll get the flavour anyway ūüôā

The front garden was so lovely with with the  newly cleared nuraghe (we cut back the undergrowth to show its impressive structure better)  and the  elderflower tree in all its glory. This year, poppies made their first appearances too. And much to my happiness, my elderflower hedge is growing strong too.

 

 

On the joy and sadness of wildlife watching

collared dove

collared dove

Since last  year, we noticed a couple of collared doves hanging around the villa . They were regularly coming  down to the fountain to drink.
This year, we seemed to see them around a lot more. And Malcolm quickly found out why : they were nesting  in the pine tree near the pergola.

And soon enough,we saw 2 eggs ….transforming into 2 fledglings , growing happy and strong.

collared dove fledglings

collared dove fledglings

Until 1 afternoon, I saw a hawk flying low near the pine tree, with a prey in its talons. I just instantly¬†knew it was one of our baby doves. All I could do is shout “no,no,no” in disbelief and horror as the¬† buzzard flew away, pecking at the fledgling, clouds of feathers flying off in the distance.
I ran to the nest and as I feared, I found it empty.¬† I am fully aware of nature’s balance¬† but couldn’t help thinking this was unfair. I obviously grew fond of that bird family¬† and felt for the poor parent I¬†saw sitting quietly on the wire above¬† the now empty nest.
Luckily¬†the story doesn’t stop on this sad tale as I was much surprised to see 3¬†colared doves¬†flying to a nearby tree.¬† At least 1 of the fledglings made it …
I hope you too will enjoy seeing and hearing them perched on the wire or having  a drink at the fountain.

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Porto Cervo ? Thanks but no thanks …

Whilst this following article is great overall and deals with a few other places than Porto Cervo itself, i feel i must come out clean : I have no time for Porto Cervo whatsoever.

I went there twice and all I could think was : ” this much for a branded t-shirt !?! Some people have more money than sense ” and above all I thought ” this is what it must look like to be in Barbie’ world on acid”.

Now the beaches are beautiful but they are some stunning ones all over the island. If you love beautiful yachts and luxury items or hope to see some famous people, then you should definitely go to Porto Cervo. If you are not interested in the above, you can also read the rest of the following article :

http://www.browsingitaly.com/sardinia/exploring-sardinia-part-1/2322/