The temperatures fell sharply in the night and for the first time in months we felt cold. At 4am we were scurrying round closing roof vents and seeking our blanket. It didn’t take long to get back to sleep once we snuggled under the comfort of a fluffy blanket.
Breakfast conversation is dominated by the history of Sardinia. We chat about the island, an ancient land mass, going back over 550 million years ago. With the periodic fluctuation of the sea level and periods of glaciation, the island of Sardinia had at one time linked to the rest of Italy. The nuraghi were the first settlers around 1500 BC. Over the centuries, its fair to say that Sardinia has had its share of invasions. From the Romans to the Vandals, Spanish, Austrians, to name but a few, so it is no surprise it doesn’t feel totally Italian. The Italian influence has only come about in the last 156 years since Sardinia became part of the unified Italy.
History lesson complete we were ready to head around the other side of Porto Botte. We utilised the services of the sosta and hunted out every piece of rubbish in our possession before setting off. Vin shuddered along the block paved road, passed the small vineyards around the marshland and on to the spit at Porto Botte.
The small section of beach leads you to a surprisingly tranquil stretch of national park. A thin natural pier allows you to walk amid the marshland. Oystercatchers, herons and flocks of flamingos are feeding. The only dark patch in the sky is caused by an flock of small birds. They swoop and circle, which plunges us into shadow as we walk along the slither of land.
More and more birds seem to join all the time, its a flurry of activity and a sense of excitement amongst the flapping feathers.
There are plenty places to stay at Porto Botte but the weather takes a sudden change. Driving wind, pelting sand and clouds of dust encourage us to move.
Within the hour we are crossing the causeway to the island of Sant Antioco seeking out a cove on the southwest coast. A small mediterranean island conjures up images of beautiful idyllic coves and it doesn’t disappoint. We park up at the first pretty cove, sit on a rock in the sea and admire the setting as the water laps over our feet. I was sort of hoping we could stay the night but Craig doesn’t feel comfortable. He points to a notice board at the side of the beach. It is full of complex rules and regulations to the point it might as well say ‘no entry’. Everything is forbidden or restricted including the size of your beach parasol. Parking overnight is not mentioned but we get a feeling its not the right thing to do.
Just before sunset we move a few kilometres down the coast to Maladroxia. The large beach car park that permits overnight parking free of charge.