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/

Dog friendly beaches … Directions and some advice

Here is the list of the current dog beaches.

The closest are the following two beaches  at about 20 mns and 35 mns ‘ drive respectively  from the villa :

Badesi : Baia delle mimose. Go through the complex. It is the second beach after the barrier (or the man collecting 2 euros a day to park in the high season. You will be fined if you park nearby without having displayed the ticket in July / August.)

Isola Rossa : Park by the Spanish tower . Follow the path right of the tower to the rocks. There is a small sandy like beach if you carry on a bit to the right of the 1st rocky inlets. Park at : 41° 00′ 51. 21” N  8° 52′ 22. 12” E  or  41° 00′ 55.301” N  8° 52′ 29. 30” E

The following 2 are less than 1H00’s drive away :

Sassari : Fiume Santo (after Porto Torres, near the power station “Fiume Santo”)  40° 50′ 46. 67” N  8° 18′ 42. 83” E

Sorso : Discesa a mare number  4.       40° 49′ 10. 03” N  8° 30′ 42. 83” E

These final 2 are about 1H30’s drive from the villa :

Santa Theresa di Gallura ( 5 euros entry) : Spiaggia di Porto Quadro ( Turn for “La filetta / Terravecchia & follow the indications to Porto Quadro)

Palau : Localita “Punta Nera”     41° 10′ 53. 16”N  9° 23‘ 32. 80” E

More dog beaches get added every year so watch this space !

You may be lucky and find a beach where dogs seem to be tolerated despite signs stating they are not allowed ( i.e there will be other dogs there and nobody makes a fuss). If your dog is small, it will be easier to go unnoticed and undisturbed.

Beware though that the local countryside police “la forestale” do fine dog owners ( only if somebody calls them to complain about your dog being illegally there.).

Finally … A Swimming Pool !!

The above ground swimming poolHaving a rental villa in a glorioius and unspoilt countryside is great. It being set amongst 2 bronze age sites is just unique. But waiting for the bureaucracy to let you put up an above ground pool is infernal : 2 YEARS !! The time , money and efforts (not to mention ” la santa pazienza”) to get here was tremendous.

Still, the paperwork is sorted and we will start building the platform next week. The huge kit itself shall not take more than 2 days (They say 1 but just like Ikea ‘s flat pack furniture, it doesn’t matter how great you are at DIY or building , it always takes longer.)

It will be an above ground pool as there can be no digging as we are on an archeological site. It comes equipped with a salt electrolysis system. The advantage of that system is that whilst the salt content is less than a teardrop, it works as a comprehensive cleaner and disinfectant. No need for 5 different chemicals that would be harmful to your body and the environment. Instead, your eyes remain clear, your skin and hair soft and you can water your plants at the end of the season with it too !

The pool is an octogonal shape and measures 5m70 x 4m00 x 1m30.

So basically, it will be open for our 1st guests in May.

That will be 1 refreshing swim for the days one cannot be bothered to go the beach …

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Spring is seriously early this year …

And by this, I mean the countryside is in full bloom by mid February. Our almond tree is gloriously ladden with flowers, lizzards play on the terrace, wild flowers everywhere, bees…  I even saw 2 buterflies frollicking the other day.

Whilst the temperatures of 24 degres sent all the locals to the beach yesterday, this is not normal at all. Whilst back in UK one considers building an arc, here I am worried that a sudden cold spell (which will surely happen at some point) will kill off this year’s fruits and wreck havoc amonsgt the wildlife.

In the meantime, we have been picking wild asparagus. This is our second collection in just over a week and there is more to come.

P1030487I am also planning to grow some ginger and make ginger beer. Luckily my partner has brewed that before and we are equipped. And as every year, I will be making some elderflower cordial and if there is plenty to share, I shall leave some for our guests at the villa too.

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On the joy of downtime and internet use.

2 days & 3 new sport pages. Not bad going considering the ever present temptation to just trawl the net …

Indeed, amongst the many activities to be enjoyed, hiking,rock climbing and diving are some of best in Southern Europe.

So if you are into any of these, please refer to the sport tab in the main menu. And plan those holidays already !

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On the love of ruins and abandoned houses, villages …

I came across this site by pure chance on FB: http://www.sardegnaabbandonata.it

And now I have just wasted over 1H00 looking at all these abandoned houses, villages ….

Abandonned dome on Costa Paradiso resort

abandoned dome on Costa Paradiso resort

abandonned villa near Alghero

abandoned villa near Alghero

Don’t give me wrong, I loved it but I was meant to update the website by adding 2 sport sections … But what a delicious way to whale away time …. And there are quite a few deserted places in Northern Sardinia so I feel a couple of trips coming on !

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On the cyclone Cleopatra that hit Northern East Sardinia on November 18th 2013

The devastation that hit mainly Olbia and some of the Nuoro region seemed nearly unreal when we heard of them.

disaster picturesI remember my mum ringing me on my mobile asking me how I was as she heard of a cyclone hitting Sardinia via the French news the day after. I had no idea whatsoever. I noticed the storm, lightning and  copious amount of rain the night before but to be honest, it was nothing we hadn’t witnessed before in Perfugas.

It is only days later , when we got back online that I realized the extend of the disaster : 18 dead , quite a few roads and bridges collapsed, many houses, business and livelihood ruined. Six months of rain slashed Sardinia in less than twenty-four hours, causing landslides, mudslides and severe flooding.

street devastated NuoroMore than 4 weeks later, the effects of that disaster are still being felt : a man just committed suicide in his ruined shop in Orosei, many people having lost their home still live in temporary shelter, schools lessons are held in makeshift building ..

I know the Sardinians as very resilient people and their great spirit shone through immediately : volunteers came rushing to help from all over the island and beyond, donations of various kinds are being generously sent. It may take years to get back to “normal”. Me and Malcolm count ourselves lucky to have unaffected by it .

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