Sardinia to Barcelona

Sitting and waiting for the ferry in Bonifacio created a setting that inspired thoughts of the past. I’ve ridden through some pretty historical towns, and somehow it hit me differently as I was looking  back at this coast line on our way out.

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There was a prehistoric look to the island and at moments of isolation,  I felt a tranquility that only comes from settings like this.

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The ferry to Sardinia is only 30 minutes and you can see both islands from the boat. As you get closer to Sardinia it’s dominated by sporadic rocks and a medieval look with smaller rolling hills.

As I got off the ferry, the only thing I have to navigate is my memory. For some reason I can remember a map, but can’t remember someones name I met 5 minutes ago. Whats your name again!? 🙂 Let me repeat that because I will forget it again in 5 minutes.

I have no destination just the idea that I have to get closer to Porto Torres! It’s the only port that will get me to Barcelona. There are campsites along the northern coast but not as many as there are on the east coast of Sardinia.

It didn’t take me long I found a spot, within 15 minutes of riding. It seemed reasonable at 19 euros. The campsite had a peaceful setting with all the amenities you could need.

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After riding the corse coasts I’m becoming used to beautiful blue waters and high cliff sides. There is a different feel though with Sardinia and it has to do with the Italians. I’ve stated before their more animated, but having exposure to the Mediterranean culture through my Arabic decent, I feel more comfortable with the emotionally charged Italians.

As I sat near the campsite restaurant there were a number of families and kids who were playing and hanging out. If your going to find a camping spot, randomly, look no further then if there families or not.

The beach was about a 15 minute walk, but I chose to take dirt path with the good ol iron Camel.  The waters were warm and crystal blue.

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I enjoyed the peace here, there weren’t as many crowds as northern corse, and everything was convenient at the campsite. I met a couple who spoke english that were living in switzerland, tanya and her husband with their two kids. I enjoyed dinner with them. Talking about the island, the people, traveling on motorcycles, and of the course the differences of living in Europe as apposed to the west. I’m trying to get more pics of the people I meet but it’s proving to be something I’m not innately used too.

The next day an italian guy advised me to visit Capo testa a small peninsula with hiking that has beautiful swim coves and white smooth rock formations.

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I chilled here for a couple of hours.

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I explored the rocky areas…….

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During my time on this Island I chose to keep the relaxation going. instead of trying to see everything. It was easy to do since leaving the mainland. No heavy traffic, lighter crowds and there was a pretty cool Archeological sites from the middle ages to the bronze ages. There was no one at this one in particular and I was able to explore freely.

(The Giants Tomb) An old burial site!

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I  reserved my Ferry ride to Barcelona at 6:30am and it’s going to be a 12 hour boat ride. Unfortunately my phone is still not working and I was getting concerned on how exactly I’d be able to make the ferry ride. It’s in Porto Torres which is an hour and half away.

So the night before after much deliberation I decided I would ride towards the Ferry even though I have no place to stay.  I have no alarm, and even if I went to bed early there is no way I’m waking up at 3am to get to the ferry by 5am. I would for sure miss it. You have to be there an hour and half early. So after dinner at the camp I head out during sunset.

Where would I sleep? Is there somewhere hidden and safe I can go? All these questions were going through my head. The one advantage I felt was the island itself has variety of terrain, I’m sure they’ll be a spot to accommodate those needs. Oh well!!!

As I rode on , I thought, there is no better place to be to do some wild camping.

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I rode into the night In what seemed like very desolate areas. Up through mountains and coast lines in some of the darkest roads I’ve been on. The lights on the Camel need to be re-configuredas they are meager at best, even the long lights aren’t so long. It took me a couple hours as I stopped frequently to look around, but I made it to Port torres in what seemed like more of middle eastern town then Italian. Then again maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me as it was midnight.

Once I realized where my departure area was I went right back out of town. I noticed some beaches along the way that seemed dead and hidden. I rode for 20 minutes or so, and did some loops around this beach just to see if there was anything suspicious, besides me of course:). I wasn’t sure what it was called and I can’t tell you exactly where it was.

There was a fisherman with his kid or grandkid but he is way on the other end of the beach. Hmmmmm… a fisherman at after midnight now that is dedication!

I unpacked my bags from the bike. Brought them down to the beach, stumbling along the away with full intention of making the tent up. At the last minute I decided if I need to make a quick getaway I don’t want to leave my home away from home. So I put the bags down, dug a small hole for myself behind some brush, put my head down and prepared to sleep. In my gear and all!!

The only way I had to check the time was by the sun and my computer, which I had with me. I had to be up at 4:30 so I could get to the port by 5am. Every hour I was waking up in a panic to see what time it was, and occasionally I thought I heard voices! But there was nothing but the sound of the waves and my mind playing games. Sure enough I woke up exactly at 4:32 to be exact. Quickly packed up and was off to the port.

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I got up in such a hurry I had to reconfigure everything once I got there. I tried to be conscious of the things I’d need after I park my bike, as I’m about take a 12 hour ferry ride to Barcelona.

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As we rode on this ferry you realize how much bigger it is then the last few I’ve been on and certainly by the madness of cars, you can tell it’s much needed.

I found a spot on the boat to sleep as I wasn’t exactly sharp at the moment but it only lasted an hour. I heard over the intercom the gym is open as well as the Day spa. Hmmmm!? I haven’t had proper work out since I was home and who couldn’t use a spa day.

I made my way to the gym and did the workout I prepared for everyone back home, in Italy. I don’t think my students have got that one yet. But if your one my students reading this ask the instructors, What workout did Mr Sinan prepare for us?

After the workout there was a proper Finnish Sauna on the boat. For those that know me, you could imagine how excited I was. I stayed in there, going in and out, for 2 1/2 hours. At one point one of the attendants spoke in spanish, like she was yelling at me, saying what seemed like, “It wasn’t good for me to sweat so much!” So I responded with, “Ole hiljaa, I know what I’m doing!  That was Finnish for be quiet. This is where I realized I’d have to start pulling out my 9th grade spanish to start communicating.

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Here’s where the tricky part comes in. There was no Wifi on the boat for some odd reason, and I don’t have any maps or any idea of where my air bnb is. I have to get to the wifi to check my email. I haven’t had it since the campsite in Sardinia. I thought no worries I got this. 😉

Yep….I don’t go this!!!! I wandered around going in circle after circle! I was 3 hours late to meet my airbnb host. I must have stopped half a dozen times, a few times finding spots with wifi, writing the directions on a napkin then putting those directions near where my navigation would go. I was a mess! especially after getting only  a few hours sleep the last 48 hours.

Sweating profusely, because its still 90 Degrees at 10:30pm, I finally reach my destination,in  an area littered with drunks and graffiti. Each one staring at me like some kind of alien. Who wouldn’t!? I look like a space man from the 70’s!!!!

The apartment is old, but the hosts girlfriend meets me with a smile even though I’m 3 hours late. I immediately take off my bags and leave my bike out in the madness of crazy drunks and homeless. She gives me all the info I need including where to park the bike for safety. Garage!? Ok no problem. When my motorcycle has become my lifeline you can’t take a chance.

I thought, what did I get myself into?!

As it turns out the next few days in this neighborhood would turn out to be a wonderful eclectic food haven, and Barcelona would be a whirlwind of brew hopping, site seeing, and fast moving vacationers taking me along for the ride.

The breweries were fantastic, I had no idea…….

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It’s not a restaurant as its says…more of brewery

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Moritz brewery….

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Brew dog….

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I know what your saying, “wow scott you did some amazing site seeing in barcelona!”

“Garage brewery”

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and, “why do you only take selfies of you with beer and not the sites?”

The fact is I did site see and in between I would also see sites of amazing little Breweries with tapas!  When you think about it, the sites that are well known, don’t need me in them,they speak for them selves. The beer on the other hand needs a little help to let you know Mmmmm…its good! That being said here is a token selfie at a well known site!!!

(Basilica of the Sagrada Familia)

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For the most part I left the bike in the garage until I was told, by home base, I have to go see the Montserrat.

It is well known as the site of the Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary and which is identified by some with the location of the Holy Grail in Arthurian myth. (Wikipedia)

The ride up was really nice…high desert land with huge cliff sides……

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I was able to burn a lot of that beer off by hiking many mountains sides, just to catch glimpses of the notable landmarks along the montseratt!

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I walked into the basilica and there was a wedding going on

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If you visit there is the black faced madonna in the monastery ,or the Lady of Montserrat/ Virgin of Montserrat! Multiple names believed to have carved out in jerusalem.

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The Basilica floor in Montserrat is modeled after the Vatican floor in Rome…….

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On the way back to barcelona, an hour ride, I took the back roads but ended up going through my first toll booth. Somehow I took a wrong exit and ended up paying $12 dollars. I think the highway charges you be either the mileage or time your on it. I hated losing that $12 for toll!

Traveling has been great but on my last day I needed to connect with home. I wanted a burger and I wanted speak english with out slowing my speech.

Speaking of that I did hangout with some air bnb roommates who spoke english. The girls were from liechtnestein. They spoke good english. As they were on their own holiday.

But where do you go to speak english? Non-other then the Hard rock cafe Barcelona.

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I spent a couple of hours there chatting a way with the bartender. She was from sweden, but both here parents were from, I think, Argentina. You can see that Barcelona truly is a melting pot. Of course like most conversations in Europe, I get asked the question Trump or Hilary!? I usually respond with should I have beer or wine?

The flat was in a lively part of Barcelona and on first impression I was a little concerned, but  as it turned out it was full of life, small cafes with great food. Good breweries that can probably go toe to toe with our locals brews, and people that don’t sleep.

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If it’s one major thing I’m learning through such travel is your senses are on high alert. When you  don’t have a travel partner and your moving on a whim. There is less distraction, your wide eyed and have to do some fast thinking.

Things are not as they seem from town to town country to country until I take that first bite, or strike up that first conversation with someone that has doesn’t speak a lick of english. Taking the time to appreciate each awkward or un-familiar moment opens up doors that were never there in the first place. South Spain here I come!!!!

 

 

 

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